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In which our art critics highlight their favorite works on view at Artomatic

The line between art and “this is the shit I do when I’m bored” gets finer and finer with each passing day. At Artomatic, the Green Army Man Experiment probably started as the latter and is accelerating toward the former. How? Encouraging you to take part. The second-floor space has copious photographs of plastic army men in various unexpected places, like garden gnomes. At times, the photos are quite stunning, with their microlens soft focus. The silkscreen prints that accompany them are as diligently crafted as any art-school hipster graffiti posted on Philippa Hughes‘ Facebook wall. The catch is that visitors to are encouraged to reach into the fish tank of army men and distribute them (thoughtfully and unobtrusively) around the building, and to take pics of them to send to the manager of the experiment. It’s crowd-sourcing without the burden of reading sometimes-uncomfortable anonymous confessions on postcards. Is it meaningful? Maybe not. Supposedly art is a reflection of the human experience, but it can be easy to forget that experience is layered, complex, and sometimes filled with inane and stupid things—-some of them enjoyable. This might be one of those enjoyable stupid things.