Vito Acconci is a key late twentieth-century pioneer of performance, video, installation and the exploration of architectural space. His work has expanded art’s boundaries, moving beyond the gallery or museum into shared public spaces. Initially a poet, Acconci began making Conceptual art in the late 1960s. He devised actions, enacted them and documented them with texts, photographs or video. In 1972 he produced the most famous performance installation of its time, Seedbed. In an empty gallery he built a low ramp, concealed beneath which he stimulated himself with sexual fantasies about viewers walking above, speaking his fantasies into a microphone linked to loudspeakers. Startled spectators found themselves implicated in an intimate power relationship between artist and viewer. Since the mid 1980s his work has turned towards experimental architectural projects. In 1988 he set up the architectural practice Acconci Studio, which has public commissions around the world and was featured at the
Venice Architecture Biennale in 2001. Acconci’s work remains of vital importance not only to Conceptual art and performance, but to contemporary architectural theory and practice.