Play Digest: Is Art Playful?

Play Digest is our weekly link pack of themed recommended reading — items we enjoyed or found interesting and hope our readers will too. Our inaugural column looks at a fundamental question — is art playful? — which we hope is soundly answered in the affirmative!

This week a new game for Xbox is released that captures the surrealistic nature of 1930s animation.

An exhibition at Iowa State’s Petersen Art Museum didn’t arrive “in a big truck, it came in a Google zip drive.”

A playful medieval mural in Vienna is one of the last of its kind.

Marc Bamuthi-Joseph’s beautiful choreographed meditation on soccer, coming this fall.

Artist Hito Steyerl grapples with the general belief that games are not reality.

Pentagram design partner Angus Hyland reinterprets two classic games: Battleship and Rock, Paper, Scissors, the latter with fresh illustrations by Mads Berg.

Designer and artist Giorgia Lupi’s dynamic deconstruction of Mondrian.

Artist Carsten Höller, who incorporates play into his work regularly, runs a workshop in Spain.

Some say baking is a science, others say it’s art. Contestants on a recent episode of the Great British Bake Off had to make their baked treats play.

Check in weekly for our roundup of the latest play news and stories.

(Image credit: Photo courtesy of Pentagram.)

Eugenia Bell

Eugenia Bell is the guest editor for She is the former executive editor of Design Observer and Design Editor of Frieze. Her writing has appeared in Frieze, Artforum, Bookforum, and Garage, among other places.