"Acconci began his career as a poet, editing 0 TO 9 with Bernadette Mayer in the late 1960s. In the late 1960s, Acconci transformed himself into a performance and video artist using his own body as a subject for photography, film, video, and performance. His performance and video work was marked heavily by confrontation and Situationism. In the mid 1970s, Acconci expanded his metier into the world of audio/visual installations.
One installation/performance piece from this period is Seedbed (January 15–29, 1971). In Seedbed Acconci lay hidden underneath a gallery-wide ramp installed at the Sonnabend Gallery, masturbating while vocalizing into a loudspeaker his fantasies about the visitors walking above him on the ramp.One motivation behind Seedbed was to involve the public in the work's production by creating a situation of reciprocal interchange between artist and viewer.
During the 1980s he invited viewers to create artwork by activating machinery that erected shelters and signs. He also turned to the creation of furniture and to prototypes of houses and gardens in the late 1980s. The artist also founded Acconci Studio in 1988 focusing on theoretical design and building. Acconci has designed the United Bamboo store in Tokyo in 2003 and collaborated on concept designs for interactive art vehicle Mister Artsee in 2006 among others.
A good example of this interest on the private/public space is the collaboration he did with architect Steven Holl when commissioned on a collaborative building project for Storefront for Art and Architecture. The project replaced the existing facade with a series of twelve panels that pivot vertically or horizontally to open the entire length of the gallery directly onto the street. The project blurs the boundary between interior and exterior and, by placing the panels in different configurations, creates a multitude of different possible facades. Now regarded as a contemporary architectural landmark, Storefront’s facade is visited by artists, architects and students from around the world.
Another example of his work is Dirt Wall (1992) at the Arvada Center Sculpture Garden in Colorado. The wall begins outside the Arvada Center and extends inside, rising from ground level to a height of 24 feet. The glass and steel wall contains a mixture of volcanic rock, various types of sand, red dolomite, and topsoil which are visible through the glass panels, and represents an attempt to bring what is underground up, and what is outside in."(artdiscover.com)