Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018

Solo en Inglès

“The hope was for me as an artist to lose control, and to have my control exist at the level of setting up the experiment.” —Ian Cheng

Hear directly from artists and curators on selected works from Programmed: Rules, Codes, and Choreographies in Art, 1965–2018.

Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Katherine Moriwaki, America's Got No Talent, 2012

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Narrator: Jonah Brucker-Cohen.

Jonah Bruckner-Cohen: We decided that we wanted to kind of think about media and how it’s changed since the Internet has been more mainstream.

Narrator: Katherine Moriwaki.

Katherine Moriwaki: One of the things that we were really interested in is this notion of the American meritocracy and how those talent shows and contest shows really play into that, this kind of deep-seated dream that––you know, you can be nobody or anybody—in the United States and find fame and fortune. And in fact, this way in which basically, social media has created stars, created celebrities, it was something that we wanted to comment on, so the piece kind of speaks to that and speaks to the echo chamber of social media.

Jonah Bruckner-Cohen: It’s a software piece.

And the interface is an American flag, and what we’ve done is we’ve changed the stripes into a horizontal bar graph, where each strip represents one of these reality TV shows with the word “American” in it. So what happens in the interface is the stars themselves get little thought bubbles that come up every few minutes that are mashed-up tweets that contain the words “no talent” and “American,” and then those tweets are then sent out to the project’s Twitter account, which is AG Talent—AG No Talent. We call it a tweet-back loop, where the tweets are coming in, we’re processing them, we’re looking at the data from them, and we’re sending them back out in a different way.

An American flag composed of colors and words.

Narrator: Jonah Brucker-Cohen.

Jonah Bruckner-Cohen: We decided that we wanted to kind of think about media and how it’s changed since the Internet has been more mainstream.

Narrator: Katherine Moriwaki.

Katherine Moriwaki: One of the things that we were really interested in is this notion of the American meritocracy and how those talent shows and contest shows really play into that, this kind of deep-seated dream that––you know, you can be nobody or anybody—in the United States and find fame and fortune. And in fact, this way in which basically, social media has created stars, created celebrities, it was something that we wanted to comment on, so the piece kind of speaks to that and speaks to the echo chamber of social media.

Jonah Bruckner-Cohen: It’s a software piece.

And the interface is an American flag, and what we’ve done is we’ve changed the stripes into a horizontal bar graph, where each strip represents one of these reality TV shows with the word “American” in it. So what happens in the interface is the stars themselves get little thought bubbles that come up every few minutes that are mashed-up tweets that contain the words “no talent” and “American,” and then those tweets are then sent out to the project’s Twitter account, which is AG Talent—AG No Talent. We call it a tweet-back loop, where the tweets are coming in, we’re processing them, we’re looking at the data from them, and we’re sending them back out in a different way.


Jonah Brucker-Cohen and Katherine Moriwaki, America’s Got No Talent, 2012 and 2018. Java app. Commissioned by the Whitney Museum of American Art for its artport website AP.2012.1