San Francisco, CA 2012

I Know What I Like was commissioned by Art Game Lab, an SFMOMA education project that brings games into the galleries of the museum. Erica Gangsei, project coordinator, wanted to use the appeal and fun of games to create a different user experience for SFMOMA than a traditional gallery tour.

The Institute's project was selected for all promotional material, and the exhibit was such a success it was extended six months more than its original end date. This is a testament to the success of Art Game Lab's ability to engage viewers through simple game mechanics, and create a more powerful visitor experience for SFMOMA



I Know What I LIke asks players to select a character, don its respective mask, and experience the museum through the character’s personality. The player may take on one of three different tasks to try to complete during their tour. The goal of I Know What I Like is both to narrow the art viewer’s parameters when visiting a museum, and to emphasize the subjectivity of art. Most people do not use a museum correctly; they try to see or comprehend too much, or approach it as a mechanical information-harvesting exercise. In this game, you are only looking for a particular type of art, art that for some odd reason your character enjoys. They enjoy this art for some simple or mundane purpose: because it makes them tired, or it reminds them of food. For the uninitiated, this seems unacceptable, art is elite, intellectual, and requires a discerning sensibility and years of study to understand and enjoy. But the opposite is true: art is about fulfilling fundamental and primal desires. That’s why most people are moved by art, because it hits them instinctively. They like the color red. They like the idea of equality. They like pretty women. Most people deny this instinct, however by putting on a mask and being someone else, players can re-engage with the fundamentals of art viewing, and start to enjoy art the way it was meant to be enjoyed