How a Thai kitchen installation at MoMA can teach us about games and their audiences.

The ongoing exhibition, “Contemporary Galleries: 1980-Now,” at the Museum of Modern Art features several artworks that relate to videogames because they invite participation. Rirkrit Tiravanija‘s Untitled 1992/1995 (free/still), in particular allows visitors to eat Thai food in a fabricated kitchen of sorts, so long as you come at the right hour. Tiravanija discusses the interactivity of the work on the MoMA’s collection website,

The work is a platform for people to interact with the work itself but also with each other. A lot of it also about a kind of experiential relationship, so you actually are not really looking at something, but you are within it, you are part of it. The distance between the artist and the art and the audience gets a bit blurred.”

Many comparisons have been made between videogames and film, performance or even poetry – but the display of games in museums is also closely related to art that requires installation and participation in a social environment.

Tiravanija’s comments on the piece can be found here.

Chris Romero

[via MoMA]