Eye in the Sky Hold’em at Where Container

June 23 - July 14, 2014

Over three weeks, Melissa Brown transformed Where’s shipping container into a Monday-night poker lounge. Our webcam became an “eye in the sky,” a portal for spies and accomplices, as players wagered their artwork among other forms of currency.

The games were broadcast live via webcam, as were the players’ phone numbers. Remote viewers could see their hands, and could reach them at any time to help them cheat—or throw them off their game.

Where’s webcam channeled the broad consensus that shapes value into a literal, microcosmic “eye in the sky,” through which remote callers influenced the outcomes for artists who wagered their work. Brown considers this a test of how collective perception influences value in art, and we would add that she also set up an almost impossible test of the many meanings of the word “fidelity.”

To conclude the series, Brown hosted a reverse-engineered “group show” of all the winnings—and losings—of tournament wagers. Where’s open blackjack table at the closing reception proved, once again, that the house always wins.

Eye in the Sky Hold’em at NADA

May 14-17, 2015

Reprising our 2014 collaboration between Melissa Brown and Where, “Eye in the Sky Hold ‘Em” was an off-site, private poker lounge in which invited players wagered original artworks in winner-take-all rounds of Texas Hold ‘Em. The winner of each round left the table with an art collection.

Whereas previous games streamed on Where’s web site, this four-game tournament was visible only to attendees at NADA NY via closed circuit television. This video feed was installed throughout the fair on specially designed kiosks, which doubled as phone charging stations.

Players included:

Siebren Versteeg, Michael Mahalchick, Jess Fuller, Mike DeLucia, Matthew F. Fisher, John O’Connor, Virginia Poundstone, R. Lyon, Gina Beavers, Ellen Altfest, Fawn Rogers, Andrew Kuo, Glen Baldridge, Wendy White, Amanda Schmitt, E. J. Hauser, and more…

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