Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018

Solo en Inglès

“The hope was for me as an artist to lose control, and to have my control exist at the level of setting up the experiment.” —Ian Cheng

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018.

Paul Pfeiffer, Goethe's Message to the New Negroes, 2001

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Paul Pfeiffer: It occurs to me that sports is something that's both extremely familiar, and ubiquitous in culture, maybe even increasingly so in the twenty-first century, and at the same time, it's something that exists within a very specific set of codes. And, not often do we focus on it, removed from that set of codes.

Narrator: Artist Paul Pfeiffer.

Paul Pfeiffer: The set of codes I'm referring to is, if you're a basketball fan, you're typically the fan of a very specific team, and it's either where you came from or where your parents came from, or where you went to school or you know, the team that has players that you adore. Whatever it is, there's an emotional investment.

What I was thinking of foremost was taking away the narrative of the game and all the trappings of the game, and just focusing on the abstract nature of the figure, sort of in this crazy architectural setting. And to further accentuate that, to basically frame by frame go and center the [figure] so that in the end the center remained relatively static, further to me accentuated the sense of strangeness of a figure, sort of trapped inside of this totally fantastic, futuristic, architectural environment.

Blurry image of a basketball player.

Paul Pfeiffer: It occurs to me that sports is something that's both extremely familiar, and ubiquitous in culture, maybe even increasingly so in the twenty-first century, and at the same time, it's something that exists within a very specific set of codes. And, not often do we focus on it, removed from that set of codes.

Narrator: Artist Paul Pfeiffer.

Paul Pfeiffer: The set of codes I'm referring to is, if you're a basketball fan, you're typically the fan of a very specific team, and it's either where you came from or where your parents came from, or where you went to school or you know, the team that has players that you adore. Whatever it is, there's an emotional investment.

What I was thinking of foremost was taking away the narrative of the game and all the trappings of the game, and just focusing on the abstract nature of the figure, sort of in this crazy architectural setting. And to further accentuate that, to basically frame by frame go and center the [figure] so that in the end the center remained relatively static, further to me accentuated the sense of strangeness of a figure, sort of trapped inside of this totally fantastic, futuristic, architectural environment.


Paul Pfeiffer, Goethe's Message to the New Negroes, 2001. Video, color, silent; 0:39 min. looped; with color LCD monitor, metal armature, DVD player, and DVD, 5 1/2 × 6 1/2 × 36 in. (14 × 16.5 × 91.4 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase with funds from the Contemporary Painting and Sculpture Committee 2001.227. © Paul Pfeiffer. Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, New York