"MoMA’s embrace of digital art is among the most jarring—and welcome—aspects of its rehang. A work by JODI, one of the essential net artists, is afforded a full room to itself."
We are proud to announce that JODI’s iconic work My%Desktop (2002), is part of the permanent collection presentation of the new MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York, that was closed for the summer during their expansion and renovation.
From October 21st 2019, the work is presented at the MoMA as a monumental installation of four adjacent projections, showing screen grabs of JODI’s desktop-performance.
The artist duo JODI made My%Desktop by connecting a computer to a camcorder and capturing the pair’s interactions with the Mac OS 9 desktop system and design. For this work, described by the artists as a “desktop-performance,” JODI deliberately exploited the basic functions of the user-friendly interface, rendering them useless: files open at a maddening pace, hundreds of overlapping windows obscure one another, and a nerve-racking number of error messaged appear.
The resultant chaos, presented as four adjacent video projections and accompanied by a jarring cacophony of Mac alert sounds, might suggest that an anarchic virus has taken control of the computer, when in fact it is the product of frenzied choreography performed by the artists themselves. Trough its destabilization of the operating system - a symbol of bureaucratic order in contemporary life - JODI’s intervention tests the limits of popular technology and a society driven by consumer-grade gadgets.
JODI first gained notoriety for its web-based works created in the mid-1990s, which exposed the chaotic, code-driven underbelly of website as unintelligible, flickering amalgamations of text characters. Pieces like My%Desktop, which is the first in a body of work by JODI informally known as “screen grabs” similarly turn systems of technological order against themselves, resulting in mesmerizing depictions of entropic digital landscapes.
From October 21
Collection from 1970s - Present, Room 211
11 West 53 Street, Manhattan, New York