Paul Pfeiffer. John 3:16. 2000. Digital video (color, silent; 2:07 min.), LCD monitor, and metal armature. Fractional and promised gift of David Teiger. © 2016 Paul Pfeiffer

The dot-com era infused media art with a heady energy. Hackers, programmers, and tinkerer-revisionists from North America, Europe, and Asia developed a vision of art drawn from the technology of recent decades. Robotic pets, PDAs, and the virtual worlds on the Internet provoked artists to make works with user-activated components and lo-res, game-boy screens. Now that “new media” excitement has waned, an exhibition that illuminates the period is timely. Automatic Update is the first reassessment of its kind, reflecting the artists’ ambivalence to art, revealed through the ludicrous, comical, and absurd use of the latest technologies.

Organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media, The Museum of Modern Art.

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