MoMA adds 7th floor to house video games

A 7th floor to be added for video games, first piece of art
will be the innovative racing game “Fromto” by Erik Habets

27th March 2019, Dueren, Germany – In the 50s, Karel Appel brought childish and absurd work from the Netherlands to the Big Apple. Appel’s work symbolished an unfettered freedom, which was ultimately embodied by children and the expressions of children.

Half a century later, Erik Habets brings a new CoBRA inspired work to the MoMA. However, this time, the museum doesn’t curate a painting or sculpture. Habets brings a video game that represents the freedom of thought and boundless expression of his own children. Habets’ son and daughter designed parts of the playful experience, which they describe as ‘a horrible, childish multiplayer platformer ‘racing’ game with ingame track building’.

The child in Habets resonates both in the playful art style and the activity the video game incites. The moment the game starts, players appear to leave their calm and reserved demeanor at the door. Frantic and energetic outcries appear to accompany the gameplay experience. People appear to lose a sense of time, space and (most surprisingly) decorum when they race their competitors.

Lee Yeterep, Chief Curator of MoMA, merely had to follow the noise to Habets’ artwork. Surprised by the tangible excitement and hysterical outcries of art connaisseurs, Yeterep understood that this work of art was something more than meets the eye. The childish graphical expression of the game resonates in the playful interactions emerging from the digital work of art.

However, presenting such a bustling art experience at MoMA might frustrate the appreciation of Joan Miró serenely balanced work and the surreal submersion in Louise Bourgeois installations. Building a soundproof room appeared the only solution to present Habets’ work at MoMA. However, during an early test run, visitors were so excited that they could not stop themselves from loudly exclaiming their immersive and ambiguous experiences.

In order to calm visitors down after a play session, the MoMA is adding a 7th floor to the building. A soundproof room will occupy this floor situated in a huge lounge area. The lounge has the sole purpose of offering visitors a moment to unwind and to alleviate their excitement to acceptable levels. In addition to the lounge area, the store on the 6th floor will facilitate as an additional buffer between the 7th and other galleries.

However, the construction of a 7th floor to house one video game, has raised some eyebrows in the artistic community. This decision, to spend significant resources, is based on MoMA’s mission to actively pursue emerging artists, new genres, and adventurous new work to support innovation in contemporary art.

‘It is quite the undertaking’ acknowledges Yeterep, ‘however, once you’ve seen and experienced the kind of game Fromto is, you’ll go from surprise to genuine excitement. Much like the feelings you had as a child’. Yeterep explains that Fromto is sold exclusively to MoMA. ‘This will be only place in the world, where you can really experience how to be a child again’. Fromto was announced for a release for PC and Switch release, so Headup apologizes to everyone who anticipated the game.

Construction of MoMAs’ 7th floor starts April first and will be finished at the beginning of June 2019.

      
About Fromto

Fromto is a horrible, childish 2D sandbox racing game with in game track building.  All players race an unfinished track in turn. When everyone fails all players must ‘work together’ to modify the track before they try again. Think strategic, build sneaky routes and trick your opponents with nifty traps and obstacles. Experiment endlessly with tons of track parts and win in unthinkable ways. Play with up to four friends (online or offline) in this action packed living playground. After you ruined all your friendships you can dive into the single player speed run challenges.

Erikson grew up to become a contemporary artist fascinated with playing. His talent did not go unseen in the contemporary art world, his work can be found all across the globe. Over the course of the last few years, his work evolved from gigantic sculptures and paintings via animations to games.

Features

  • Up to 4 players online & local multiplayer
  • Single player challenges
  • Hot seat mode to play multiplayer with one controller or keyboard
  • Super high replayability!
  • Online leader board for single player challenges
  • Record & replay your gameplay
  • Fun to watch!
  • Lots of different cars
  • Very tuneable gameplay settings
  • Full controller support
  • Nifty secrets
  • Many, many track parts
  • Destructible terrain
  • Unseen art style partially made by young children
  • Unlock cars, obstacles and levels as you progress
  • Amazing soundtrack
About Headup

Headup is a hybrid games publishing and development company providing players worldwide with the best content in the independent gaming sector. Established in 2009, it is active on all major platforms such as consoles, mobile devices and PC, and was awarded as “Best Publisher” at the German Developers Awards in 2012, 2013 and 2017. With over 80 million customers served on mobile and further several million players on the PC and consoles, Headup is always looking to raise awareness and commercial success for developers thinking outside the box. More information can be found at www.headupgames.com.

About Studio Erikson

Studio Erikson is a games-and-art-studio founded by Erik Habets and located in Maastricht the Netherlands. After graduating as primary school teacher he continued his education at the Academy of Fine Arts Maastricht. Erik has been making sculptures, paintings, drawings, animations and installations for the past decade. He won prizes and received grants and commissions in the art scene. Since a few years he dedicated himself to the creation of games. More at www.studioerikson.com.