In the shadow of Palo Alto’s City Hall sits a small robin’s-egg blue structure that churns out 4-by-6-inch art on demand. Toby Atticus Fraley’s The Artwork Forge II is designed to simulate the process of commissioning an original work. “Its overall goal is to take people out of their daily lives for a minute to experience something new and exciting,” says the Pittsburgh-based artist. “I don’t feel like we have enough of those welcomingly surprising moments in our day-to-day lives.” Palo Alto Public Art and the Palo Alto Art Center are behind the project, which you can find on King Plaza (250 Hamilton Ave.) through the end of April. Simply insert four quarters; then wait a few minutes for the machine to deliver a mini-masterpiece on a wood-based material. About 70 percent of the art features altered photos taken during road trips across the United States.
Originally published in the March issue of Silicon Valley