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Vito Acconci started out in life as a writer and poet, graduating with a Masters degree in creative writing from the University of Iowa, but soon found himself, in his words, “limited by page”.
Thereafter he helped pioneer the performance art movement, particularly in his video work – the most notorious of which is Seedbed, in which Acconci lay hidden beneath a ramp installed at the Sonnabend Gallery masturbating for eight hours a day whilst expressing fantasies about the people above him.
By the 1980s Acconci turned toward creating experimental design, architecture and public sculpture, setting up Acconci Studio in 1988. By his own estimation, he believes only 10 percent of his proposals are realised.