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SCIENCE FICTION

NEW YORK -- So what happens when the free-flowing mind of an artist is given license to disobey the laws of physics that dictate architecture? Sixteen artists explore the concept of fictional architectural spaces in the New Museum of Contemporary...

NEW YORK -- So what happens when the free-flowing mind of an artist is given license to disobey the laws of physics that dictate architecture? Sixteen artists explore the concept of fictional architectural spaces in the New Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition, "Out of Site," which runs through Oct. 13. Rather than draw traditional blueprints, the artists rely on just about every other medium: digital photography, projection, sculpture and installation as well as drawings and paintings.

The result? A digital rendering of a hallway with walls and floor made of human skin, for one. Then there's "Garden Airline Escape Plan with Rhythm Transport Center, Velvet Wells, White Circle Escape Plan Steamers, and Hidden Signal Headquarter," a futuristic rendering by Dannielle Tegeder of an underground safe haven inspired by nuclear bomb shelter plans from the cold war.

In short, the works here are more Frank Gehry's Guggenheim than I.M. Pei's Pyramide du Louvre.

New Museum associate curator Anne Ellegood says she came up with the idea after observing how artists have dealt with the changing notions of space in today's wired culture.

"The spaces depicted are fictional in that they do not refer to existing sites," says Ellegood. "Yet, they are manifestations of today's experiences of navigating space -- both in our homes and workplaces, as well as in the digital realms of the Internet, video games and other virtual environments."

Howard Roark would have been so proud.