All dead. All immortal.
Vito Hannibal Acconci (January 24, 1940, The Bronx, NYC - April 28, 2017, Manhattan, NYC) was an American poet, performance- and installation artist, designer and landscape architect.
From poetry to performance, to video, to installations. To landscaping, design and architecture.
'The coruscating Vito Acconci died on Thursday, at the age of seventy-seven. He was an American original, who began his career as a poet—a jittery Beckett—leaving his native New York (he was born in the Bronx) for the wilds of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in the mid-sixties. Back home, he drifted from the downtown poetry scene into the art world, where his work in performance and video was foundational to the histories of both art forms. Acconci defies labels—later in his career he transformed his interest in public space into an unorthodox architectural practice, which never attained the transformative power of his art. But, of his great early work, one could say that he made a medium out of menace. It’s impossible to imagine, for example, Jordan Wolfson’s violent provocation at this year’s Whitney biennial without the precedent of Acconci’s piece “Claim Excerpts,” from 1971, for which he videotaped himself wielding a metal pipe at the foot of the stairs of a gallery basement and televised his threats on a closed-circuit TV. On Twitter, the late artist’s tag line was, “Vito Acconci is now following you,” a reference to “Following Piece,” from 1969, for which he tailed a random stranger every day for one autumn month in New York City, until the stranger entered a private domain. He said of the piece, “I am almost not an ‘I’ anymore; I put myself in the service of this scheme,” just as he offered up his most primal emotions—shame, lust, fear—in the service of art. In his most infamous work, “Seedbed,” from 1971, he built a wooden ramp in the Sonnabend gallery and masturbated below it, as unsuspecting visitors walked up above. Unsuspecting, that is, until Acconci began to speak, in response to visitors’ movements. A fragments of those improvised words, read today, rings elegiac about his impact on past, present, and future generations of artists: “Reasons to move away from a space: there’s no need to stay—I’ve left something there, outside, that used to be here, inside—I’ve left something there that can grow, develop, on its own.”'
Andrea K. Scott The New Yorker, April 28, 2017
More wisdom: a collection of 25 Vito Acconci Quotes.
Betsy Sussler's Bomb Magazine published an informative conversation between him and Richard Prince: BOMB 36, Summer 1991.
In 2012 to be followed by 'Acconci, Revisited' by Samuel Jablon (hear Vito talk).