Perhaps one of the more unexpected tendencies in this internet-native generation of artists has been an increasingly porous relationship between corporate strategy, brand-building, and artistic intent. The infamous
, a consulting firm and art group responsible for the term “normcore
,” created an advertising campaign for the triennial. The piece is intended to be shown on buses and subways, rather than in the New Museum itself. DIS
, a collective whose web magazine
collapses high and low fashion with treatments of tech-industry messaging, has long been known for using corporate strategies to critical effect. For the triennial, in collaboration with Mike Meiré from the high-end German design studio, Meiré und Meiré,
the artists created a curious, lie-down shower called The Island (KEN)
(2015). Part bathroom, part kitchen, the softly-lit block of marble and steel also serves as the stage for a performance in which a showroom model bathes horizontally on it, fully clothed.
“The idea,” Meiré told me, “was to combine two water zones that are usually strictly separated. It seems surreal, and yet it really exists.” Such a statement seems perfectly in line with many of the works on display. “Surround Audience” is art created for a world steeped in the anxieties of possibility, racing to catch up to a present that looks and feels like science fiction.