Artist Plays Civilization For Three Months In Museum Celebration

Artist Plays Civilization For Three Months In Museum Celebration

Civilization opening screen

Artist Diego Leclery is contributing to the 2014 biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art by playing Civilization outside the entrance for seven hours a day.

When artist Diego Leclery was asked to take part in the Whitney Museum's 2014 Biennial, he decided there was only one artistically valid way he could contribute: play Civilization. Lots and lots of Civilization. Since early March he's been playing under a bridge leading to the museum's entrance for seven hours a day, five days a week, a schedule he plans to keep up until the biennial celebration concludes on May 25.

"Since I moved to New York, I haven't really made any art. I play a lot of Civilization," he told Animal. "I got asked to be in the Biennial, and what am I gonna do? Make some shit? No. I'm going to transform the activity of the last year and a half."

If you find yourself asking, "How is this art?" you're not alone, but he does have a few self-imposed rules that help him maintain the "metaphor" of the game "within the Whitney's 'ceremonial cultural center'," including that he only plays single-player.

"I prefer the idea of playing against the machine, or playing against the system... as opposed to playing against the world," he said. "There's an art pyramid. I help generate money and material for a system that peaks at Jeff Koons, Gagosian, and collectors who are mainlining art. I do a lot of military moves in this game. It's like, maybe I'm storming this castle... the Whitney... the art world. It's like, I'm in the moat just before the entrance and I'm trying to break in."

Happily for Leclery, and perhaps ironically as well, he's apparently pleased that his performance, which by the way is entitled "Me Playing Civilization," has pulled him out of an "unproductive period." On the downside, according to Art F City, he hasn't yet been paid for his work.

Source: Animal

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Oh man, The first Civ brings back so many memories of tribal warriors flipping over tanks and Gandhi going completely crazy as soon as Nuclear Weapons are available.

Hrmm perhaps I am an artist and I didn't even know it. I play Civilization all the time... Anyone want to give me money for my "work"?

Actually I think playing Civilization for seven hours a day is the very definition of "unproductive period"

That is just the idea of a "let's play" taken to the next, even weirder level.

I still don't see how this is art.

Mahoshonen:
Oh man, The first Civ brings back so many memories of tribal warriors flipping over tanks and Gandhi going completely crazy as soon as Nuclear Weapons are available.

Every Civilization bring back memories of Gandhi nuking people. That goddamn Gandhi just doesn't know when to quit.

I personally think is kind of cool, though I totally get that he isn't actually getting paid for it. Also, as much as I love Civ, I think I would go completely mental if I played it this much, but good for him, I suppose.

Andy Chalk:

"Since I moved to New York, I haven't really made any art. I play a lot of Civilization," he told Animal. "I got asked to be in the Biennial, and what am I gonna do? Make some shit? No. I'm going to transform the activity of the last year and a half."

This fucking guy. He knows what he wants to do, and he's convinced everyone to let him do it. He deserves his Civilization binge. The magnificent bastard deserves it.

If you're ever wondering why some STEM people have a smug sense of superiority...

LolCasualliek7hoursaday.

I suppose that the Civilization games are the closest thing that we have to an interactive experience of human history and culture, so why not?

Art is not in the activity one does, but in the value it provides. If he and the museum directors feel he's adding value, then more power to them. If he's able to talk to people about Civ and give some insight, even if it's a little shallow, on how it compares to anything in reality, then I feel that's a positive.

 

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