The Waiting Game: 8 bit MoMA experience

image via Slate

Last year’s Marina Abramovic exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art was a treat, including a performance piece in which Abramovic sat in a chair and stared at willing museum patrons. Visitors often waited hours in line to sit opposite from her. It was strangely great. Engaging.

But computer game researcher Philip Barr wanted more. So he made the experience of waiting in line for the exhibition into a video game. From Slate:

Barr’s game, designed in delightfully old-fashioned graphics, compels you to—spoiler alert—go to the museum, pay for a ticket, walk through a couple of galleries (bedecked with 8-bit versions of such paintings as Starry Night) and then get at the back of a long line of 8-bit people. The game itself is set to the museum’s hours, so players can only enjoy it when MoMA is open (Eastern Standard Time, of course). “It’s also closed on Tuesdays, Thanksgiving, and Christmas,” Barr adds.

“At first I just thought a game about this would be hilarious, but then I realized there could be some seriousness to it as well. No one has ever really made a video game about the experience of contemporary art.” He was unconcerned that the game might seem outdated, seeing as it came to life over a year after the show closed. “I don’t really think of it as that tied to the actual exhibit. It’s more about art in general.”

Have a few hours to kill? You can play ‘The Artist is Present’ here… just not on Tuesdays.


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