Connected \\ November 22, 2017
PlayTime on pem.org — launched in September — allows us to reach beyond the museum’s walls and engage with a global community of users. It jumpstarts the conversation: how is play changing our lives? In advance of the exhibition, we’re exploring the shifting role of play in art and culture with leading writers, thinkers, game designers, poets, artists—and you.
The exhibition features 40 works by 20 leading contemporary artists—including large-scale installations, sculpture, photographs, video, and tactile interactives—and examines how play catalyzes creative expression, enchants the ordinary and helps us understand ourselves in new ways.
Play is important. While it seems unserious, it is at the root of creativity and human empowerment
— Trevor Smith, Curator of the Present Tense and curator of this exhibition
As chief of curatorial affairs and project lead, Kathy Fredrickson shares her excitement. “PlayTime has given us the opportunity to collaborate in new ways here at the museum and in doing so, to explore new ways of creating and sharing content. With this prototype, we can create opportunities for constructive dialogue and interaction, and offer broader, deeper and more diverse content than art museums usually provide to their audiences.”
Visit playtime.pem.org and the PlayTime Instagram for updates throughout the run of the exhibition. A few recent features to check out include:
- writer Virginia Heffernan on the seductive qualities of pinball in the digital age
- game designer Eric Zimmerman on cheating in games
- scholar and activist Susana Morris looks at the practice of playing with blackness
- writer Lizzie Stark on live action role play (LARP)
- sportswriter and memoirist Carlo Rotella on games growing up in his hometown of Chicago
- writer J. Robert Lennon with a playful piece of maze-like fiction
- artist Juliana Horner shares her unabashedly creative avatar-inspired makeup
- writer and game designer Kat Brewster on play as a product of boredom
- Albert Mobilio with a series of short stories inspired by vintage board games
- artist Claire Hentschker on her investigation of the video game Grand Theft Auto
- comic duo Adam Bessie and Jason Novak with a series of board game inspired web comics
- crossword writer David Steinberg with a custom game-inspired PlayTime puzzle
In addition, we present the first video in our ongoing series Dispatches from the Field. Tune in and join PEM as we head out on the road to see the places and meet the players who make up the state of play today.