Moma’s Automatic Update website (Left), Screenshot of my computer installing an Automatic Update (right)
I realize that Moma's Automatic Update closed nearly two weeks ago, so I'm not trying to be a dick with above photo comparison, but I nonetheless want to point out the difference between what a computer does when it connects to the Internet to install new software, and what a show does when it claims the same action, builds an entire site around the premise, and then fails to feature any net art (except through an infrequently updated, and poorly followed delicious network.) Nobody questions the purpose of a computer installing necessary updates because the term accurately describes the results, whereas they might easily be confused by a show titled after the same action that largely takes the form of a video series, and a collection of largely pre dot-com like work.
“The exhibition reflects the ecumenical [general] interests of media artists”, Moma curator Barbara London explained to me over the phone when I asked her whether it might not be better to think of this exhibition as a video show. Her response to my queries of course, was dead on, at least in the sense that Automatic Update has no discernible thematic thread but for the fact that it all ended up in the same room for a couple of months. Included in the physical exhibition is Paul Pfeiffer's famous basketball collage video John 3:16, Jennifer and Kevin McKoy's trademark bendy light, moving sculpture-film, Our Second Date, an Ellsworth Kelly like keystone projection by Cory Arcangel, Xu Bing's simple picture graphics story and Raphael Lozano-Hemmer's self described LED installation 33 questions per minute.
Part two to arrive Monday