Usually lunchtime is a quick nip to a nearby deli, perhaps a walk around the block and then back to my desk. All within 15 minutes.
But I’d seen there was a new exhibit at the Swiss Institute just a block away and I feared I wouldn’t make the 6pm closing time, so I decided to go there at lunchtime instead. How cultured is that? Fitting in a cheeky art trip between stories.
I’m sure my editors wouldn’t have cared, but I didn’t want anyone to be on to my plan so I aimed to stick to the usual 15-minute absence. Which I did. Just another example of how ridiculously buzzing this city is – that I can nip out to see world-class art and be back before Jodi Arias has even shed a tear.
So. The exhibit. It was a massive installation piece by Jon Kessler called The Web – a play on words to refer to its form, subject and message.
Huge pieces of material were stretched across the room to create a blue web above TV screens, video cameras, massive iPads and scenes of people distracted by electronics. It focused on our reliance on the web (as in the World Wide one) and the cluttered enclosure was a reminder that we are very much tangled up in this obsession (much like a, er, web).
It was pretty gaudy – especially the reclining mannequins – but there was just so much to look at, and much of it made me laugh out loud.
It was also playful and interactive; I was being filmed and appeared on screens throughout the installation. You can also download an app to upload images to the computers while you’re there, with your pictures connecting with the hundreds that have come before.
Oh and the artist, Jon Kessler, was there too!
All this in 15 minutes. I should forgo the Gourmet Garage soup trolley more often.