This New Contemporary Art show requires you to solve a code

  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Reading time:8 mins read
You are currently viewing This New Contemporary Art show requires you to solve a code

A blog called “This New Contemporary Art Show Requires You to Solve a Code” has just been launched by the New Museum in New York, where one such show opens on December 18. The blog is a kind of puzzle itself and contains an invitation to play.

“This postmodern art show presents a contemporary take on the historical practices of creating codes to communicate secret messages as well as puzzles for viewers,” explains a press release. “Designed by Studio Other Spaces, the installations incorporate games, puzzles, and clues that allude to the artworks.”

You don’t have to be at the museum or even see the show to enjoy the blog. But you do have to solve its puzzle. If it’s difficult for you, that’s good news: it means you are not a computer program.

It was called “This New Contemporary Art Event,” but I discovered it more like a scavenger hunt.

It started Friday night when I visited the Free Museum on Mission Street, where they were showing this new kind of art. A small crowd had gathered around an exhibit called “(A)rt Machine,” in which a guy and his dog (a Great Dane) were chasing each other with paintbrushes dipped in paint. It was fun to watch, but I didn’t know what it was supposed to mean.

I found my way to the next exhibit, called “This Blog is Not About You.” The first room had no door, so you couldn’t see what was inside until you got close enough to read the sign: “No one is permitted beyond this point without a password.”

The second room provided the password: “I have read and agree to the Terms of Service.” The third room contained a computer and TV screen that showed a series of videos explaining what was happening. They told me to go to a website,, and enter my password.

There were two puzzles there, plus a blog about the art and puzzles. One puzzle asked me, for example, how many black dots

A show called “This New Contemporary Art” just opened at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. It is by three artists: An Xiao (a Chinese artist living in Seattle), Richard Garet (a Seattle artist) and Mark Napier (a Washington, D.C., artist).

The theme of the show is code breaking, with a touch of espionage. And it has a website that isn’t just about the art but also includes puzzles for you to try to solve.

The art itself is mostly conceptual stuff, not paintings or sculptures, which makes sense when you consider that it’s all about codes and computers. There are lots of puzzles and games. Think of it as an art museum on acid, or maybe a video game museum where all the games are based on video games.

__What makes this different from other computer-themed shows is that there are three artists involved, each creating their own work and not copying from each other. Each artist has his own style and approach to what he does with computers, so no one feels left out or overshadowed by another artist’s contributions.

__And it’s a show that’s meant to be solved, which is unusual for art museums! I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. The artists’ idea

If you are in New York City, or nearby, there is a very cool new show at the New Museum called This New Contemporary Art, a survey of the past decade of art made by artists born or living in New York City. I went to see it this weekend, and was very impressed by how good it was.

The exhibit is designed so that the art itself does not entirely make sense until you have read a blog about the art and solved some puzzles. The blog tells a story about how the art came to be made: how Fred Lonidier connected to the artist Evan Roth through an online game called Foldit, and then started making art with him; and how they got a book published by Melville House with contributions from artists like Joan Jonas, Sigmar Polke, Spencer Finch, and Tatsuo Miyajima; and so on. And then the puzzles involve going on-line to find little snippets of text that relate to that story in some way, and then reassembling those snippets into new texts that, when pasted back into the blog in certain places, form new short stories related to that first one.

Then all of these short stories lead you gradually to understand why this contemporary art is different from postmodernism as we usually

The art world has been rocked by the opening of a new exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Titled “This New Contemporary Art,” it is a collection of works by artists who deliberately set out to challenge and confuse the public, particularly through puzzles and codes.

The show includes three-dimensional objects, paintings, videos, and conceptual pieces that have only recently come to light. Some of them have never before been exhibited. One of the works on display is a sculpture that must be assembled from parts that are not provided; it was given to a group of schoolchildren, who worked for years before putting it together correctly. Another piece is a series of simulations of rooms from famous buildings, which are almost indistinguishable from the originals; if you stare at one long enough you can see something unusual about it, but no one has figured out what it is yet.

Another painting depicts an apparently blank canvas—but then you realize that there is an image in the blank space between two threads in the canvas. And yet another video explains how to make a video, but all you can see are vertical lines bisecting each other—you can’t tell what they’re bisecting or why they’re there until you watch the video again while standing in

The exhibition, This New Contemporary Art, seeks to examine “contemporary art as a vast network of interrelated information.” The show includes over twenty contemporary artists, including new media artist Aram Bartholl and “conceptual artist” Peter Burr.

Aram Bartholl is famous for his work in the ‘found-object’ genre. His work, entitled “The Key,” was a sculpture that was constructed entirely out of cheap, mass-produced items, such as power cords and computer parts. The sculpture was constructed in the style of a lock and key, so that it could only be opened using its corresponding key.

“The Key” was exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1999.

While this may sound like a mindless waste of time for the average person, Bartholl’s work does have an important purpose: “If people think about this sort of thing (the relationship between art and architecture) then maybe they can understand how we can make use of this space more effectively,” he said in an interview with Wired magazine.

A few years ago an artist named Cory Arcangel began posting YouTube videos of old video-game music. He added a few touches to the recordings, like scratching a MIDI keyboard, or in one case adding the sound of a chugging engine to the soundtrack from Pole Position.

The name of this series was “Video After All.” Arcangel is among the first artists to see the internet as a place for making art. The idea is that new technology opens up new possibilities for art precisely because it seems like such a dead end: no one knows what to do with all those images and sounds we are able to collect and move around with relative ease; how could they be put together into something meaningful?

But recognizing that there’s nothing obvious you can do with something doesn’t mean you have to reject it. Arcangel’s clever trick was to use technology in a way that makes you feel as if you understand it. The music comes from video games, but you don’t need to know that to appreciate what he does with it. It’s like Duchamp’s urinal: it’s funny because you can recognize it as a urinal, even though what else would you call it?

Arcangel is now taking this approach further, working more directly with the

Leave a Reply