Today, when technology seems utterly smooth and weightless—composed of invisible waves, wireless signals, abstract codes—New Order explores the ways in which these systems are still stubbornly tied to the physical world. Drawn entirely from MoMA’s collection, the works included highlight the uneasy coexistence of intelligent networks and dumb stuff, high tech and raw material, the fabricated and the readymade. Technology, they suggest, is always mired in matter, friction, and failure.
Presenting a number of recent acquisitions and large-scale installations never before shown at the Museum, the exhibition showcases a diverse range of techniques and media, from live digital simulation to industrial vacuum-formed plastic to ultrasound gel. These pieces revel in the weird and unexpected, giving rise to hybrid constellations of things and bodies and data.
New Order looks at the ways in which contemporary artists use—and misuse—tools and forms. The show features works made since the turn of the millennium that push and challenge the boundaries of technology: upending systems, experimenting with materials, and ultimately inventing novel techniques and substances.