Neuberger Museum Puts Public Spin on Once Private Diary

Arts and Entertainment

December 18, 2013

From: Neuberger Museum Of Art





With the advent of social networking and mobile communications, the diary has evolved from private medium to a forum for public consideration and collaborative thought, where the personal becomes a platform for social interaction, reflection, and activism. A new exhibition at the Neuberger Museum of Art addresses private versus public space, how we connect and interact as the personal and private are merged with the public.

Dear Diary: Update All, will be on view at the Neuberger Museum of Art of Purchase College from January 4 through March 16, 2014. The exhibition of twenty international artists and thirty artworks explores how artists express their individual and collective identities, and the relationships among memory, document, and fiction. The mixed media exhibition presents work that uses online data, remembrance, handiwork, genetics, gaming, and Google to mark the discord, beauty and banality that occur each day.

According to Jacqueline Shilkoff, the Museum's Curator of New Media, Dear Diary will be "an exciting forum for ideas and interaction." Adding another dimension to the show, students from Purchase College, SUNY will be on site during Museum hours to engage in conversation with visitors about the exhibition as well as help them navigate the show and interact with the artwork. "The artists express an astounding range of poetic philosophical expressions," Shilkoff adds.

Among the artworks in the exhibition is the installation A Charge for Privacy (2013), an electronic phone charging station created by Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, and Ramon Branger. The work is intuitive, featuring the familiar routine of charging a phone battery and offering viewers to charge their phones. The artists, however, introduce a barrier: an agreement to the terms of use for this charging station. From this entry point, our digital history stored in our phones creates voluntary (and involuntary) representations of ourselves.

Another piece, Editor Solitario (2011) by Colombian artist Oscar Muñoz, focuses on the interrelation of images and memory, exploring the ephemeral and vulnerable nature of human life. It is a black-and-white projection onto a table depicting photographs: formal portraits and family snapshots, celebrity photos, painters' self-portraits, postmortem photos, and police sketches. An unseen subject extends an arm to place photographs on the table, removing some, exchanging others, pausing, covering, and quickly removing them. Muñoz combines personal and cultural histories, merging found images of the living with found images of the dead in an ambiguous narrative of individual and national memory, loss and hope.

Other artists and collaborators in the exhibition include: Kannan Arunasalam, Chloë Bass, Nick Briz, Paul X. Briz, Ramon Branger, Victor Castro, Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen, Chris Collins, Eric Eberhardt, Zach Gage, Mark McKenna, Amanullah Mojadidi, Molleindustria, Óscar Muñoz, Laura Splan, Aalam Wassef, YoHa with Matthew Fuller.

Generous support for the Dear Diary: Update All is provided by Marcy Kahn. Additional funding is provided by RBC Wealth Management, the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art and the Purchase College Foundation. 

The Neuberger Museum of Art will present the following programs in conjunction with the exhibition:

Family Second Saturdays: "Comic Strip Stories"

Saturday, January 11, 14 pm

The artists of Dear Diary: Update All use many different modes of expression to share their identities with the world. This month, kids explore self-expression and storytelling by creating their own comic strips, works that can be shown in the exhibition's "Family Gallery."

Victor "V.L." Castro, noted comic book artist (The Walking Dead #100, Fantastic Four #600, Haywire) and US Army combat simulations specialist, leads the workshop, which is based on a class Castro teaches at West Point for the children of military personnel. Admission to the museum and workshop are free and open to all families, with a special welcome for families of active servicewomen and men.

Neu First Wednesdays: Tea Will Be Served

Wednesday, February 5, 4:306:30 pm

Neuberger Museum of Art Café

Performance and installation artist Chloë Bass administers Tea Will Be

Served, a participatory artwork about how what we do shapes us into who we are. Purchase College students and members of the wider community are invited to have tea and conversation with the artist in a mediated and interactive event during which participants are the performers, generating the content of the artwork through their experiences during the tea.

New Media Lecture Series: Zach Gage

Wednesday, February 5, 2014, 6:30 pm

Neuberger Museum of Art Study

Zach Gage is a game designer, programmer, educator, and conceptual artist from New York City. His work often explores the power of systems, both those created by social interaction in digital spaces, and those that can be created for others, through the framing of games. An Eyebeam Alumni, he has exhibited internationally at venues like the Venice Biennale, the New York MoMA, The Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, XOXO Festival in Portland, FutureEverything in Manchester, The Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle in Warsaw, and in Apple stores worldwide. His work has been featured in several online and printed publications, including The New York Times, The New York Times Magazine, EDGE Magazine, Rhizome.org, Neural Magazine, New York Magazine, and Das Spiel und seine Grenzen (Springer Press). In games, he is best known for SpellTower, Ridiculous Fishing, and Lose/Lose.

The New Media Lecture Series is co-curated by the Neuberger Museum of Art and the New Media Board of Study, School of Film and Media Studies, Purchase College.

Family Second Saturdays: "Family Stories"

Saturday, March 8, 14 pm

Dear Diary: Update All exhibiting artist Kannan Arunasalam created "I Am," an oral history project through which he challenged perceptions of identity by creating sound and video portraits of Sri Lankan elders, with the hope of exploring how these people's stories could help bring individuals and communities together. Inspired by the "I Am" project, children and their families have the opportunity to interview one another in the museum's recording booth, and share their stories with program participants and the museum community.


The Neuberger Museum of Art is an integral part of Purchase College, State University of New York. The Museum is supported in part by the State University of New York. Support for the Museum's collection, exhibitions, publications, and education programs is provided by grants from public and private agencies, individual contributions, and the Friends of the Neuberger Museum of Art's members and Board.

The Museum is located at 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, New York (Westchester).



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The Neuberger Museum of Art is easily accessible by car or bus, and may also be reached by Metro-North. By car: From the North or South - take the Hutchinson River Parkway to Exit 28. Head north on Lincoln Avenue to Anderson Hill Road. Turn right onto Anderson Hill Road. Left at first traffic light into Purchase College campus. From 684 - take Exit 2 South on Route 120 to Anderson Hill Road. Turn left onto Anderson Hill to 2nd traffic light. Turn left at Purchase College campus. From the East - take Route 287 (Cross Westchester Expressway) to Exit 8E. Take second left over Expressway onto Anderson Hill Road. Follow signs to SUNY Purchase.

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On the Purchase College campus, park in Parking Lot #1 and proceed to the underpass at the Performing Arts Center. The handicap elevator is located across from the entrance to the Performing Arts Center. Take the elevator to the second level, then exit to the left. The entrance to the museum is located diagonally across, about a city block away.

Photo: Oscar Munoz, "Editor Solitario," 2011, VideoProjection on Table, Courtesy of the Artist and Sicardi Gallery.