The Fecund Culture Wars, or, How to Tie a Bowtie

The stage at Culture Wars, April 28, 2010. Photo: Katherine Payne.

Perhaps we took the Culture Wars theme of spring and nature a bit too far, but we hoped that it provided fertile ground for some healthy competition, and it did. We had a total of six teams compete in a final elimination because of multiple ties to win prizes donated by 20×200, the Phaidon|Store, and of course Art21 along with the 92YTribeca. Who could have predicted that the teams in attendance were just waiting to exercise their “green” contemporary art knowledge?

Inspired by spring, Jonathan Munar and I were appropriately dressed in pastel shirts and bright bowties. They were not clip-on ties, but the real deal. When heckled by the lovely audience, I even demonstrated how to properly tie a bowtie which, like many things, I learned from YouTube. Jonathan and I found this video to be the most helpful towards this endeavor.

Though an abbreviated event with only three rounds, the fifteen teams were still lively and ready to play. As always, the event started with the round, Ripped from the Headlines, culled from our regular online reading, including blogs, newspaper web sites, and random links sent to us either by Art21 colleagues or Twitter followers. The next round satiated an aural fixation, a playlist of ten songs that shared a certain “springtime” theme. The final round, titled Nurture Your Nature, was a potpourri of questions that ranged from land art to Michelle Obama. By the end of the event, it was clear that spring had sprung!


Art21 is coming to The Institute of Contemporary Art! Mark your calendars and brush up on your trivia for a special Beantown edition of Culture Wars: A Night of Trivia with Art21, taking place next Thursday, May 13 starting at 6:30PM. If you are in Boston, come to say hello and stay to be victorious.


1st Place – We Come from France (Brooklyn Historical Society and Met Museum)

2nd Place – Momates (former MoMA Interns)

3rd Place – The Asscrack Expressionists (CUNY Graduate Center)

4th Place – Team Whitney (Whitney Museum)

5th Place – Golden Girls (Studio Museum, Harlem)

6th Place – RxSmart (RxArt)

7th Place (tie)
Wauhaus – aka Michelle’s Team (CUNY Graduate Center)
Artchie Bunker and the Meatheads

9th Place – U.S. Rules (America: Now and Here)

10th Place (tie)
The Allergens (Hyperallergic)

12th Place (tie)
Brooklyn Backlash (Brooklyn Museum)
The Beasts

14th Place (tie)
Generalissima (Art in General)
Comedy Pyrite