In 1990 John Halpern coined the term - Art for the 21st Century - and created several events and projects related to the idea NEW CONSUME.
NEW CONSUME enables the participant to discover a new way of consuming that is creative. It emphasizes the effect of consuming creatively and provides products, opportunities and experiences for the participant to consume in new and creative ways.
In 1988, with SMOKE SCULPTURE, Halpern engaged 1000 Europeans in sending cigarette smoke to cigarette factories. In 1989, he lived in a sealed glass container in Holland for 10 days breathing once per minute with 10,000 green plants - BREATHSCULPTURE. This event dominated the media for over two weeks. With FRESH AIR, Halpern's mobile glass houses, more than 100,000 people breathed interactively with plants in Europe and the USA. FRESH AIR was seen in national news all over the world and was the symbol for a huge and successful environmental PR campaign for the Clean Air Act in 1990.


John Halpern - Director and producer of documentaries, short films, award-winning art events and interactive/environmental sculptures, Halpern is known for his pioneering innovations in the use of media to redefine the individual and one's effect in society.

In 1977, Halpern co-founded Art Corporation of America Incorporated (A.C.A.I.). A.C.A.I.'s first Media Sculpture was entitled BRIDGING in which group members simultaneously scaled NYC's 7 major suspension bridges, stopping city-wide traffic during rush hour. The group achieved its goal of preventing terrorism from dominating the media for one day. The spectacular event captured international attention and won the Best News of the Year Award with ABC Eyewitness News.

Between 1979 and 1999, Halpern lived in Europe, creating major Media Sculptures on city streets, in galleries and museums involving hundreds of thousands of passersby. He directed three documentary films featuring contemporary artists, Joseph Beuys, Les Levine and Robert Filliou. In the early 80's, Halpern's art was exhibited with Andy Warhol, Christo and Beuys. His NEW CONSUME project won BEST CONCEPT for Swiss Economy from the Swiss government in 1996. Halpern's work has received financial support from granting organizations including NYSCA and NYFA in the U.S. and the Cultural Departments of Basel, Bern and Solothurn in Europe.

Films by John Halpern

JOSEPH BEUYS / TRANSFORMER (1979) Halpern's first documentary was made in collaboration with German artist Joseph Beuys during Beuy's historic Guggenheim Museum exhibition in New York.   The film, featuring rare and intimate interviews with Beuys, has been broadcast internationally and is owned by over 30 leading museums worldwide.

REFUGE (2005) and TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA (2006, Co-directed with Les Levine) both documentaries premiered to critical acclaim. Provocative and icon-driven, the films take an up-close and unbiased look at the phenomenon of Buddhism's emergence in the West as seen through the eyes of the Dalai Lama, Martin Scorcese, Oliver Stone, Melissa Matheson, Bernardo Bertolucci and others. REFUGE opened to sold-out theatres in Canada and the U.S. and was broadcast in the Netherlands in 2005. TALKING WITH THE DALAI LAMA premiered in New York in 2006.

Halpern's current project is a documentary film dealing with the confluence of anger and terrorism.

John Halpern's production company, MDS Productions , is headquartered in Union Square, Manhattan. His films are available through theatrical, television and digital distribution networks worldwide.