Twenty World Wide Webs

“The Daily Show,” an exhibit on view now through July 31 at Bureau on the Lower East Side, provides a fresh take on the standard summer group show. Rather than crowd together a handful of artists with little more in common than talent and geography, gallery director Mary Grace Wright and her team chose to cede control of their makeshift movie theater to a new vision every day. Over the course of four weeks, Bureau is featuring 20 eight-hour video screenings, curated and created by a diverse group of artists, including C. Spencer Yeh, Alex Hubbard, and Bureau’s own staff member Maliea Croy. “It’s a way to focus,” Wright says of the show’s format, which “lends itself to giving over the whole space to one artist.”

The videos being screened are compiled from whatever the artists choose, including music videos, film clips, commercials, artworks (their own and others’), and the genre-less voids of YouTube. The opening night screening depicted Lana Wachowski speaking of coming into her own as a transgender woman, as well as Linkin Park singing of numbness—the natural result of each artist being given, as Wright says, “the opposite of parameters.”

Wright also notes that New York will soon be sweltering, and tourists and locals alike, swooning from the heavy sun, will fight for shade, willing to watch whatever movie is showing just for two hours of cool. So what better way to beat the heat than to slip into Bureau, slump into the beach furniture, and watch compilations of the web for a while? Moment-to-moment, these films are endlessly varied and occasionally familiar—consider them highlights of a new friend’s digital life. “Each artist is taking [his or her] own individual approach,” Wright says, “which is exactly what we were hoping for.”