MoMA Adds 7th Floor to Exhibit Video Games – “Fromto” by Studio Erikson First Piece of Art

MoMA Adds 7th Floor to Exhibit Video Games - "Fromto" by Studio Erikson First Piece of Art
MoMA Adds 7th Floor to Exhibit Video Games - "Fromto" by Studio Erikson First Piece of Art

MoMA Adds 7th Floor to Exhibit Video Games – “Fromto” by Studio Erikson First Piece of Art

In the 50s, Karel Appel brought childish and absurd work from the Netherlands to the Big Apple. Appel’s work symbolished an unfettered freedom, which was ultimately embodied by children and the expressions of children.

Half a century later, Erik Habets brings a new CoBRA inspired work to the MoMA. However, this time, the museum doesn’t curate a painting or sculpture. Habets brings a video game that represents the freedom of thought and boundless expression of his own children. Habets’ son and daughter designed parts of the playful experience, which they describe as ‘a horrible, childish multiplayer platformer ‘racing’ game with ingame track building’.

The child in Habets resonates both in the playful art style and the activity the video game incites. The moment the game starts, players appear to leave their calm and reserved demeanor at the door. Frantic and energetic outcries appear to accompany the gameplay experience. People appear to lose a sense of time, space and (most surprisingly) decorum when they race their competitors.

Lee Yeterep, Chief Curator of MoMA, merely had to follow the noise to Habets’ artwork. Surprised by the tangible excitement and hysterical outcries of art connaisseurs, Yeterep understood that this work of art was something more than meets the eye. The childish graphical expression of the game resonates in the playful interactions emerging from the digital work of art.

However, presenting such a bustling art experience at MoMA might frustrate the appreciation of Joan Miró serenely balanced work and the surreal submersion in Louise Bourgeois installations. Building a soundproof room appeared the only solution to present Habets’ work at MoMA. However, during an early test run, visitors were so excited that they could not stop themselves from loudly exclaiming their immersive and ambiguous experiences. 

In order to calm visitors down after a play session, the MoMA is adding a 7th floor to the building. A soundproof room will occupy this floor situated in a huge lounge area. The lounge has the sole purpose of offering visitors a moment to unwind and to alleviate their excitement to acceptable levels. In addition to the lounge area, the store on the 6th floor will facilitate as an additional buffer between the 7th and other galleries. 

However, the construction of a 7th floor to house one video game, has raised some eyebrows in the artistic community. This decision, to spend significant resources, is based on MoMA’s mission to actively pursue emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work to support innovation in contemporary art.

‘It is quite the undertaking’ acknowledges Yeterep, ‘however, once you’ve seen and experienced the kind of game Fromto is, you’ll go from surprise to genuine excitement. Much like the feelings you had as a child’. Yeterep explains that Fromto is sold exclusively to MoMA. ‘This will be only place in the world, where you can really experience how to be a child again’. Fromto was announced for a release for PC and Switch release, so Headup apologizes to everyone who anticipated the game.

Construction of MoMAs’ 7th floor starts April first and will be finished at the beginning of June 2019. 

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