Greater Toronto Art 2024, March 22–July 28.

April Break at Home 2021

With Mika Rottenberg’s Spaghetti Blockchain
Monday, April 12, 2021
 – Friday, April 16, 2021

For April Break 2021, dive into Mika Rottenberg’s Spaghetti Blockchain with us! From April 12–16, join us for some exclusive online programming all about Mika Rottenberg and the fascinating sights and sounds of her film Spaghetti Blockchain, 2019.

This programme is open to all but is especially geared towards families with kids from Grades 4-7.

How to Participate

Day 1

Watch Spaghetti Blockchain below and use the guiding questions below to spark a conversation, or get thinking about the work.

Day 2

Have questions for the artist? “Ask Mika” by submitting your questions on Instagram! Also learn all about CERN, where Mika visited and filmed part of Spaghetti Blockchain.

Day 3

Raid your recycling bin and make sculpture art with Naz Rahbar! Follow along with the recorded workshop from our April TD Community Sunday.

Day 4

Join MOCA’s Learning Coordinator Alexandra Brickman for a live chat about Spaghetti Blockchain at 11:30 am on Thursday, April 15. Watch the recorded session now.

Day 5

Try your hand at making Oobleck, a non-Newtonian fluid, with the Ontario Science Centre. Like Mika, you’ll start to think about matter and material in a whole new way. Learn more here!

Mika Rottenberg
Spaghetti Blockchain, 2019

With thanks to the webteam at MCA Chicago.
This version of Spaghetti Blockchain featured descriptive captioning, which presents on-screen captions reflecting the noises made in the work.

  • The title of the work combines two very different words together – “spaghetti” and “blockchain.” Why do you think Mika chose this for the title? What is a blockchain, and why might help explain what we are viewing in the film?
  • If you were to tell a friend about this work, how would you describe it? How does it make you feel?
  • The work begins with a Tuvan throat singer, who creates a striking and powerful sound that carries through the entire film. What might this sound signify, as we hear it play over scenes of a hexagonal tunnel rotating, potatoes being farmed, and mechanisms moving. Why do you think Mika chose this sound to bind these different scenes together?
  • The scenes of wires, cables, and scientific machinery were filmed at CERN, a nuclear research facility in Switzerland. Mika visited CERN in 2018 as part of their Guest Artists Programme. Why do you think a scientific research facility would invite artists to research and work alongside the scientists?
  • Mika is fascinated by our relationship to matter and the different ways we can interact with it. Can you think of some scenes from the film that illustrate matter changing from one state to another?
  • If you could ask Mika Rottenberg a question about this work, what would you ask?

Learn More about CERN

You may know CERN as the European Organization for Nuclear Research, but did you know that they have a programme dedicated to supporting artists and artist research? It’s called Arts at CERN, and Mika Rottenberg visited as part of their Guest Artist programme in 2018, where she filmed some of the footage that you see in Spaghetti Blockchain.

According to CERN, “The Arts at CERN programme fosters connection between science and arts by extending artistic practice and creating a space for artists to partner with physicists and engineers. Together, they are given the opportunity to explore different approaches to curiosity and creativity.”

Learn more about Mika’s time at CERN, and about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world’s largest and most powerful particle accelerator. Then, check out this virtual tour of the LHC, and see what Mika might have seen during her visit to CERN!

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Sculpture Art with Naz Rahbar

Making a sculpture out of found and recycled materials can have endless possibilities! This month we welcomed Naz Rahbar to lead a virtual workshop for our April TD Community Sunday. During the workshop, Naz showed us how to use recycled boxes, tubes, and other materials to make a mini sculpture room, or diorama. This activity got us thinking about our relationship to matter and materials, similar to Mika Rottenberg in her exhibition Spaghetti Blockchain.

You can watch the full workshop recording below:

Live Chat about Spaghetti Blockchain

Watch the recording of the live chat session with MOCA’s Learning Coordinator Alexandra Brickman about Spaghetti Blockchain.

Oobleck Activity with the Ontario Science Centre

In many of her films, Mika explores materialism and the different ways we can interact with matter. When we handle an object or material, it will behave based on its state of matter—solid, liquid, or gas. But what if a material acted like two different states of matter at the same time?

In this activity from the Ontario Science Centre, try your hand at creating Oobleck, a fascinating material that acts like both a solid and a liquid at the same time!

Mika Rottenberg
Argentina-born, New York-based artist Mika Rottenberg is devoted to a rigorous practice that combines film, architectural installation, and sculpture to explore ideas of labor and the production of value in our contemporary hyper-capitalist world. The overall exhibition design is being planned with Rottenberg, who is developing her spatial practice to include a sustainable angle using unfinished/reusable materials. Rottenberg has exhibited extensively internationally and has recently had solo exhibitions at the Sprengel Museum Hannover; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago and at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. In 2019 her work was included in the 16th Istanbul Biennial and the same year she was awarded the Kurt Schwitters Prize, a biennial award that recognizes artists who have made a significant contribution to contemporary art.
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Mika Rottenberg, Spaghetti Blockchain, 2019. Gif excerpt from single-channel video installation. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth.

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