In the middle of the journey of life, I found myself astray in a vast executive conference center, my pulse ramping up as it can during weekends of airports, strangers, and vertiginous hotels cold as meat lockers. I was trying to avoid a tech conference. I aimed to look intent on something, improvising a straight path, though all I was really looking for was an armchair where I could be alone with my phone.
Down one hall and up the next was nothing but evidence of other conferences: still lifes of coffee and KIND bars flanked by signs announcing plenary and breakout sessions on subjects ranging from — well, the one I remember was “Rendering.” Horses to glue. But it wasn’t as simple as that; rendering had made giant strides.
At last I found what it turned out I’d been looking for all along: an arcade. Dated, neglected, this oddly shaped chamber, lined in cola-stained linoleum contained maybe seven gaming machines, three of them lightless and lifeless. It was a floor down, visible through a slanted window, two glass doors away from a swimming pool. I zagged around and burst into it.
Virginia Heffernan’s essay continues on playtime.pem.org; join her as she rediscovers non-digital games and “all the disreputable excitement [that’s] possible with mere mechanics and electricity.”
On playtime.pem.org the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) explores “how is play changing our lives?” with leading writers, thinkers, game designers, poets, artists— and you. Discover new writing on games and society, hear artists talk about what play means to them and see curators in action as PEM prepares to open, PlayTime, the first major thematic exhibition to explore the role of play in contemporary art and culture.
PlayTime opens at the Peabody Essex Museum (161 Essex Street, Salem, Massachusetts) on February 10, 2018.
The action could disrupt public access to the museum as workers campaign for higher wages and better labor conditions.
Over 500 scholars signed an open letter to reinstate the exhibition, which was postponed in consideration of the ongoing war in Ukraine.
This week, artist studios in the streets of Manhattan, a Texas high school, a Brooklyn apartment, and more.
Your list of must-see, fun, insightful, and very New York art events this month, including Ed Ruscha, Nina Katchadourian, Luis Camnitzer, Martha Edelheit, and more.
Join the New-York Historical Society on February 10 for a virtual conversation about our changing relationship to the natural world with Julie Decker, John Grade, and LaMont Hamilton.
Asawa’s life masks do not keep count of past or future losses.
At San Francisco’s Legion of Honor, Mobina Nouri took scissors to her own strands and invited others to do the same.
Amid a worsening inflation crisis, Sergio Guillermo Diaz’s banknote artworks are a poignant symbol of Argentinian resilience.
Theatres of Melancholy: The Neo-Romantics in Paris and Beyond highlights a group of artists who found acclaim and patronage only to fall back into obscurity.
Presented by Northwestern’s Block Museum and McCormick School of Engineering, this new exhibition seeks empathy at the boundaries of life. On view in Evanston, Illinois.
Jean Renoir’s newly restored 1939 classic proves that lawless wealth — then as now — makes a marvelous farce of us all.
Hamburg’s Antisemitism Commissioner disparaged photographer Adam Broomberg for his support of the BDS movement.