First Magical Exhibition of the Year: Pixel Forest at the New Museum

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Today I went to a magical exhibition at the New Museum. One of those once-in-a-while moments that kind of take your breath away without you really knowing why. Pipilotti Rist’s Pixel Forest has been on display in the Lower East Side since October 26th of last year. Spread across the three main floors of the museum, she features a quite magical artistic composition of art installations made of video projections, curtains and more.

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Her stories reveal her background of growing up in Switzerland, her videos show a small-town feel when it comes to lifestyle, relationships, and love. The first floor we saw was an amazing assembly of projections interwoven with material. A main video was playing in the background while we made our way past a dozen curtains, which had other videos projected onto them.

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We then went on to what was perhaps the most impressive story in terms of photography: The actual Pixel Forest on the third floor. Here thousands of lights symbolized a pixel each. Altogether they displayed more than 3,000 pixels. It was impressive to walk through this curtain of lights and see the projection backlighting the entire room.

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Last but certainly not least was the underwater world, which featured snippets of videos projected onto the ceiling. This meant you had to lie down on the several beds, which were provided throughout the entire room, and look up. Quite a trippy experience overall.

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I had never gone to the New Museum before and this was perhaps the most perfect first time I could have imagined. Pixel Forest runs through January 22nd (one more week), although the fourth floor exhibition will close after tomorrow. If you’re interested, I’d recommend you get in line right at 11am, so that you can enter the museum with the first wave when it opens. Otherwise waiting times could be up to three hours for this highly popular exhibit. This is the line I saw today early afternoon. Luckily we got in a much shorter queue meant for members (since my friend is a member and was able to get me in as her companion).

Line wrapping around two blocks
Line wrapping around two blocks

While Pixel Forest was quite overcrowded most of the time, the masses could not take away the fascination with light and art, which we experienced throughout the entire exhibit. I hope that you too get to experience the magical interaction of this simple combination!

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4 thoughts on “First Magical Exhibition of the Year: Pixel Forest at the New Museum

    • Oh I’m glad to hear you made it inside on their free Thursday evenings. I’ve heard of people being cut off way too early and lines lasting 2 hours or such… It’s quite a fab exhibit!

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