Museum of Feelings

Finding disappointment at New York’s Museum of Feelings

Open from November 24th to December 15th, the Museum of Feelings has been generating buzz recently as New York’s latest pop-up, announced with a mysterious website and slick series of subway ads that made me want to visit if only to find out what the hell it is. The resulting trip gave me feelings, sure, but not the kind I was hoping for, and probably not those the organizers were going for either. When I first arrived outside the Museum of Feelings earlier this week, I was greeted with a line and display reminiscent of the Apple Store. Fitting, given that I…


Forget Van Halen: these 70 Zebra finches are my new favorite rock stars

I’ve been trying and failing to learn how to play guitar since high school. No matter how many classes I take or Rocksmith sessions I play, the seeming complexity of the instrument always scares me away from any higher level practice. Now, to add salt to the wound, I’m being upstaged by birds. But to be fair, there are 70 of them. In an exhibition that went up at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts on November 25th, French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot released 70 zebra finches into a room where the only perches were 10 Gibson Les Paul guitars and four…


Download an artist’s psychedelic trip by stepping into Ixian Gate

With the invention of the internet and smartphones, many people now have the ability to pull a knowledge box out of their pocket and look at almost any great work of art at a moment’s notice. Remarkably convenient as this is, there’s still something to be said for going to a museum in person.  When viewing a painting with one’s own eyes, it can be easier to gain an appreciation for the scale and texture of the work, qualities which might not translate as easily to a JPEG. But still, museums always carry with them a sense of distance, as…


It’s about time digital art had a place to call home

Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was the first time I saw something resembling a digital frame. The technological magic of his “Picture Picture” device looked like an ordinary painting in a garishly gilt frame until Mister Rogers wanted to show viewers a video. “Hello,” it would sometimes greet him, before then launching into a story about the industrialized creation of crayons or some other every day object. When the video was over Mister Rogers would bid the frame goodbye and the screen would morph back into a generic landscape painting. Decades later and digital picture frames belong to the lackluster luxury end…


What happens inside this museum stays inside this museum

“I don’t see it,” were the first words out of my mouth, when my mom took me to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre when I was eight. After days of hype, I felt betrayed by both the tour guide and my own mother. I was promised history, and all I got was a bunch of butts in my face while I tried to jockey for a glimpse at the postcard-sized magnus opus. One of the most defining differences between the virtual museum and the real-world one is that pervasive sense of solitude. Instead of jockeying for a moment…


Tattoos, abstracted into data and blasted onto a canvas

In 1954, a small group of Japanese artists called the Gutai (Embodiment) group became interested in revealing the inner qualities of the materials they used in their art through performance. In one piece, Akira Kanayama used a remote controlled car to spread paint on a canvas. In another, Kazuo Shiraga painted by sliding across a canvas on his bare feet. The paintings they made are presented as finished works, but the performances that led to them are sometimes photographed, sometimes not—in these early stages of performance art, it was unclear whether the work was the painting itself, or the performance…