Frieze New York 2012
Up until the announcement last spring that London’s Frieze Art Fair would be coming to New York for the first time, there were maybe five main reasons for a person to be on Randall’s Island: You are a high school student on an organized sports team—probably lacrosse or track or, perhaps, soccer—and you are utilizing the island’s athletic fields for practice; you have tickets to Electric Zoo or Cirque du Soleil; you like golf, but you do not want to leave the city to play it; you are a patient at the Manhattan Psychiatric Center on the adjoining Wards Island; you are John McEnroe, it is 2010 and you are inaugurating the John McEnroe Tennis Academy at the Sportime Randall’s Island Tennis Center.
Let’s assume for a moment that Amazon.com is the best way to sell something to someone else online, the Platonic ideal of website retail. Imagine a version of Amazon.com that exists for just one week a year and requires you to have a little instant message conversation with a salesman as the first step to any transaction. If he likes you, or you’re known to him, he might take you to a “private room,” identical to any other inventory page, but where they keep the really good thriller novels. Fair warning! This version of Amazon.com has a reputation for being a little quirky technically as well. The chat function isn’t reliable, and the whole site once had to be taken offline for several hours, during that week of its existence.