PLAN 83: Article
The Moma Media Lounge

A Permanent Installation by SA+P’s Renée Green

This fall, New York’s Museum of Modern Art introduced the MoMA Media Lounge, a permanent modular installation designed by artist Renée Green, director of SA+P’s Art, Culture and Technology program, to present the museum's extensive and pioneering collection of time-based art.

The first public platform of its kind in a New York museum, the Media Lounge features moving images, video, performance, motion- and sound-based works dating back to the 1960s, collected and preserved by the museum’s Department of Media and Performance Art. Through an iPad interface, viewers are invited to experience the works of their choice with historically accurate display technology.

While the installation as a whole is titled the MoMA Media Lounge, Green’s commissioned work for it consists of two parts – Media Bichos and Space Poem #3 (Media Bichos) – continuing her ongoing exploration of spaces that can be temporarily inhabited (including one’s own body) and the kinds of experiences that can take place in those spaces.

The Media Bichos, comprising contractible or expandable spaces for solo or shared viewing experiences, evoke the 1960s Bichos – handheld hinged metal sculptures of Brazilian artist Lygia Clark – but in contrast, Green combines geometric design with a bold color palette and a range of textiles to create immersive structures with which visitors can interact to create various forms.

Space Poem #3 (Media Bicho) is formed by double-sided color banners suspended overhead, adding another layer to the artist’s ongoing investigation of the ways in which viewers extract meaning from combined systems while moving through space.

Green’s body of work spans a broad range of media including text, music, textiles, sculpture, digital media, architecture, photography, prints, video, film, websites and sound, which normally converge in highly layered and complex installations. A recurring feature of her work is the creation of interactive environments that make the viewer a participant in the construction of meaning. Her exhibitions, videos and films have been seen throughout the world in museums, biennales and festivals.

Launched in conjunction with the museum’s collection-digitization initiative, the Media Lounge unfolded in two phases: Phase 1 presented three viewing stations displaying videos on classic monitors in the second-floor corridor; Phase 2 added six more structures, including listening stations for audio works, and completed the first section of Space Poem #3 (Media Bicho); in the forthcoming Phase 3, the Media Lounge will expand to other museum locations and will incorporate a projection screen and vitrines containing related ephemera. As the museum’s collection continues to grow, the installation can expand further.

During the Summer, the MoMA Media Lounge presented Green’s Picks from their currently digitized holdings, including Vito Acconci’s The Red Tapes (1977), Juan Downey’s Information withheld (1983), Joan Jonas’s Organic Honey’s Visual Telepathy (1972) and Chip Lord’s Bi-coastal (1983), among many others. Green’s Picks continue to be on view.

The Media Lounge was organized by Sabine Breitwieser, Chief Curator, and Erica Papernik, Assistant Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art, in collaboration with the Department of Media and Performance Art staff. Major support for the MoMA Media Lounge is provided by MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation. Special thanks to KnollTextiles.