New York

Jane Dickson, Peep VII, 1992–96, oil and pumice on canvas, 57 × 40".

Jane Dickson

James Fuentes

In 1978, the Chicago-born painter Jane Dickson was a few years out of college and looking for a job in New York. She answered a newspaper ad for artists “willing to learn computers,” and soon found herself on the night shift, designing animations for the first digital light board in Manhattan’s Times Square. Although she disdained what she called the “commercial propaganda” being broadcast on the Spectacolor screen, Dickson did manage to make the display work in her favor. First, she talked her boss into letting her commandeer it briefly to advertise the “Times Square Show,” the legendary 1980 exhibition held in a former massage parlor on West Forty-First Street and organized by the artist collective Collaborative Projects Inc., or Colab, of which she was a part. Later, she made the screen available to friends, including David Hammons, Keith Haring, and Jenny Holzer, all of whom used it

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