Imaginary Forces

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The recently reopened and completely renovated Museum of Modern Art, back in business in Manhattan after a few years out in the wilds of Queens, goes video high-tech with an array of nine 40-inch LCD screens in the lobby, programmed by bicoastal Imaginary Forces. The setup is intended "to provide visitors with information while simultaneously highlighting the range, diversity and quality of MoMA's collection, exhibits and events," according to IF, where creative director Mikon van Gastel and his team created a "digital panoramic barcode as a visual metaphor that fuses the dialogue between information, art and entertainment." Animated slivers of the more than 20,000 works of art in the MoMA database, as well as images related to events, exhibitions and other promotions aim to generate a "kinetic barcode" that conveys MoMA's character. The nine screens "are orchestrated as a single composition with varying notes of punctuation across it. The system is run by a built-in scheduling interface that is programmed to create a choreographed, self-generative 'performance' of specified content stored within a dynamic database," further explains IF, "with the movement across the screens determined by inaudible musical input, translating the rules of composition, harmony and rhythm into a visual symphony." The custom programming is a collaboration with Oliver Delano and Alessandro Sabatelli of Slinc.realtime, and video artist Kurt Ralske.

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