New York’s MoMA comes to town

Last Friday we all downed tools and enjoyed a guided tour of the NGV, Melbourne; celebrating the end of a challenging patch of work and also, you know, Friday.

Some Energetiqs were excited to see art they’ve not seen before, some were breaking promises to art-loving friends by attending at all and for some it was their first visit to a gallery of this kind.

We arrived to see some of the most famous pieces that form part of the Museum of Modern Art ( MoMA) from New York. Even if you’re not an art lover there’s plenty of name recognition – and image recognition – amongst these pieces.

Our volunteer guide, Brian Martin, was on hand to explain to us the origins of the main pieces and give us an understanding of why they were considered important.

Brian Martin - NGV Tour Guide Extraordinaire

The man with two first names: Brian Martin – doin’ his thang

We work in software and love making things work well – and look great. Art isn’t like that; it’s sometimes confusing, sometimes cool, sometimes boring, sometimes groundbreaking, sometimes disruptive.

Stackable couch

Maybe this is meant to represent a birds-eye view of an undulating field that is somehow trapped on all sides by the mechanics of humans – humans that push and pull at the land to shape it the way they want rather than letting it flow? Nope – it’s a couch that can be stacked neatly. Get a grip.

Brian explained to us some of the more disruptive pieces that today seem benign but when they were completed were challenging to their audience.

Our group were introduced to the Pollock piece below…

True, it does seem chaotic but there is a uniformity.

With each layer of different paint there is a deliberate attempt to make it seem random; an interesting goal for a piece that may be meant to challenge the dichotomy of order and chaos.

Further analysis may give rise to thoughts about the nature of choice.

Philosoraptor does it again

Further reading: Determinism. That’s a bit of a long bow but whatever – it’s art!

Amongst the paradigm-crushing artwork there were some nifty pieces…

The Bicycle Wheel: Art!

This is not art. Is it?

Josh M finds out he is a completely average height

Josh M – staring into the black to get a glimpse of his own soul

The height wall at NGV

Heights of visitors as recorded on a really big wall. If you are unusually small or large, your name stands out. Otherwise you are a SHEEP!

We get to the only part of the tour where these visitors may know as much as our guide: The pixel wall.



Post-gallery gathering

The team progressed through the gallery taking in all the important pieces then skipped up the road to Transport Bar in Fed Square to debrief on the creative experience. Was the bicycle wheel really art? Why? Which pieces would you want to own? And who were these people that just ignored all the conventional wisdom of their day – the disruptors? Lots to ponder, over an ale or two.

The wait staff liked to play a sadistic gladiator-style game of “let’s put down a plate of 12 delicious things for 5 people and see who has 3 and who has 2” – a social game I would appreciate watching if I weren’t hungry.

Gabe smiling


A few drinks were had as we played a game of reverse WWE Royal Rumble (where one person leaves randomly every 10 minutes or so).

In all, a great way to spend some time on a Friday, pondering the true creatives of our world.