Pixel Forest (Pixelwald) is a current exhibition at the New Museum by Swiss artist Pippilotti Rist. It is definitely the most prominent exhibit in the museum, occupying three main floors of the building. It is the most comprehensive retrospective of Rist’s work to date, showcasing works from her entire career as an artist - from her early single-channel videos of the 1980s, to her recent expansive multimedia installations.
The installation I was most interested in was the eponymous Pixel Forest which spans the top floor of the exhibit. On this floor Rist has simulated a kind of dreamlike environment engendered by various visual stimuli, enhanced by hypnotic musical scores. Rist’s work fuses the biological with the technological in this immersive, all-consuming environment. As a viewer you are left to wander freely through the exhibit, to meander through a collection of hanging vines holding 3,000 glowing orbs that change and pulse with color corresponding to the video installations that occupy the expansive walls on the periphery of the exhibit. The space is strewn with beds, pillows, and soft carpets, inviting the viewers to relax, to partake this experience both intimate and communal, and to really absorb and allow themselves to be encapsulated by their surroundings.
Unlike the museums in my previous posts where I for the most part visited solo, this time I ventured to the museum with friends. The exhibit is very interactive, and requires you to engage with it and be part of the art piece instead of passively watching. Therefore, there are a decent amount of people in my pictures with the art, but I'm sure this is how the artist intended it.
Overall, Pipilotti Rist's installation was beyond beautiful. When I lay on the floor with the beds, it made me realize how much we take the simplest things for granted; water streaming, leaves falling, hand holding, day dreaming... This exhibit reminded me to actually live and appreciate the world and it's natural beauty. It gave me a new-found appreciation for the biological/technological world around me.