The Gameby William Powhida
“How To Play The Game”
The goal of the game is relatively simple, get your work into the Met and make history. You need to follow a path through the art world from an MFA program towards recognition, representation, and museum exhibitions while picking up some supporters along the way who will help propel you into history. Like the real art world, whether you’re in or out is largely out of your control. We’ll assume you have some modest talent, but making history requires a lot of luck. The only decisions you have to make along the way are which paths to follow to get ahead, whether or not to drink, and how you can best use your supporters influence to advance your career, the rest is either luck or chance, depending on your outlook on life.
The Game Play
1. Determining the order of the players:
a. Hottest player at the table selects their MFA program first
b. Youngest player selects second
c. Richest player selects third
d. Meh. You’re in the game, loser.
2. On the way to ®ecognition:
a. Each player gets one turn per round.
b. Advance your circle [i] forward to the first circle on the path to representation.[ii] Roll one or two die to see whether your IN or OUT. You will either go forward, backward, lose turns, or in some cases, end up in New Jersey teaching.
c. Note: Whoever starts at Pratt can take one “backdoor” roll before they leave the relative safety of grad school.
3. Getting ®ecognition:
a. The first player who advances to “®ecognition” can roll two dice (or the sum of three single roles) to determine who their first supporter will be. You can roll for a CRITIC at this early stage of your “career.” You might get lucky and get a power card, but not all of them are that helpful. In fact, you might have to make a deal later on or get into a third museum.
b. CRITIC Values:
1. Roberta Smith = 3, 5
2. Jerry Saltz = 4, 10, 7
3. Christian Viveros-Faune = 6, 11
4. James Kalm = 12, 8
5. Power Card: Hans-Ulrich Obrist = 2
c. AIM Program and Biennial Rolls: You can choose one shortcut roll to make when you reach ®ecognition, but not if you get sent back.
d. NOTE: You can only call upon discretionary powers once per Game and you may use them immediately after determining your first supporter. Follow instructions for roll based bonuses.[iii] James Kalm’s power may be used each time another player gets into a museum, including the Met.
e. From “®ecognition” you need to choose a gallery to advance towards. Unlike real life, you cannot lose your recognition but outs can send you all the way back to the ® circle. If you want to play the “bitter version,” outs can send a player all the way back to the steps of their graduate schools. In real life it usually happens when you buddy up with a professor who does you a favor and gets you a job.
4. Getting a Gallery: If the supporter is already occupied you can BEG the player to let you share the supporter or take the supporter with the closest numerical value.
a. If you ever advance to a gallery, roll for your new supporter.
i. COLLECTOR Values:
1. David Ganek = 2, 5
2. Aby Rosen = 3, 6, 9
3. Agnes Gund = 4, 7, 10
4. Peter Norton 8, 12
5. Power Card: Larry Gagosian=11
b. If you have gotten to Gavin Brown’s Enterprise you may make ONE poached roll when you arrive. If you get a 3 and a 4 you may advance to Gagosian Gallery. You may stay at Gavin Brown and take one “Inside Job” roll per turn if you’re a scumbag, but nobody will judge you I’m sure.
c. If you land the Gagosian Power Card your gallery also counts as a museum, the old two for one.
5. Getting a Museum:
a. If you somehow manage to advance to a museum before you pass out from doing shots, chugging beers, or blowing lines off your iPhone, you may select your third supporter, a curator.
i. CURATOR Values:
1. Nancy Spector = 3, 5
2. Klaus Biesenbach = 4, 9
3. Richard Flood = 7, 11
4. Donna De Salvo = 10, 12
5. Power Card: Nicolas Bourriaud (BOREeeoh) = 2
6. Getting into a second museum:
a. It should be relatively easy to get into a second museum now that you’re an art star, or you decided to conquer the outer boroughs. You may indeed now roll for another supporter of your choosing. You have some power.
b. NOTE: If you want to play the “Bitter Version,” you may continue to take over museums before anyone else can get to them and effectively win the game that way without ever getting into the Met.
7. Getting into the Met:
a. So you’ve done everything you’re supposed to do, right? You have recognition (or skipped it!), a gallery, at least two museums, and a critic, a collector, and a curator behind you, BUT there is no PATH to the Met. How do you get in and make history? I have no fucking idea. It’s really, really hard. In fact, you, the players, need to figure that out. Here’s a couple of suggestions.
i. Take a vote! Use a secret ballot and write IN or OUT on a little piece of Rail and throw them in a hat or something to determine if the player is worthy of making history. Hopefully, you have been nice to your fellow players and not belittled their futile attempts at negotiating the art world.
ii. Determine your own Auction Value by calling the value of a roll. You have a 1 in 6 shot of getting it right. You can try once per round.
iii. Fuck it, no one can stop you. You’ve won. Argue like hell with the other players that it’s the only fair way to end the game. Try and convince them the art world is really a fair, balanced, and reasonable place.
iv. Bribery. Divide up whatever cash you have and give it to the other players.
v. “Bitter version” Don’t do anything. You’ll never know if you make history, because you’ll be dead.
[i] Get a hole punch and make a bunch of little circles by punching holes in the Brooklyn Rail. Start with the ARTSEEN Section. You’ll need about twenty to play the game.
[ii] Hopefully, you counted the number of steps you will have to take from each MFA program.
[iii] James Kalm’s power may be used each time another player gets into a museum, including the Met.