A Puzzling Display by Tim Roseborough

Official Press Release and Text Source: Tim Roseborough, Digital and New Media Artist

A Puzzling Display” is a new artist-created online arts and culture game, where registered participants compete and test their arts and culture knowledge. Inspired by the annual “puzzle hunts” hosted by institutions such as MIT and Microsoft, Silicon Valley digital artist Tim Roseborough has created “A Puzzling Display”: an Internet-based set of 20 intelligent and challenging interactive puzzles covering topics such as art history, music, film and culture.

In the 21st century, gaming and game-related paradigms are steadily integrating themselves into contemporary culture. “A Puzzling Display,” continues Roseborough’s exploration of the techniques and theories of gaming and play in the context of contemporary art. The website will be accompanied by an exhibition of Roseborough’s limited edition prints that translate each puzzle into the artist’s “Englyph” writing system, created via hieroglyphic-like images from everyday language. With an aim of blurring the distinction between fine art and diversion, Roseborough’s virtual artwork incorporates interactivity, video, sound art, and computer animation to take a fresh look at arts and culture. For “A Puzzling Display”, Roseborough has utilized limericks, silhouettes, common names, videos and art charades to challenge gamers.  All of the challenges are fun, but not all of them are easy. The order in which you play the challenges is up to you.

  • Win points for correct answers, check your overall progress and compare your score with other players on the scoreboard.
  • The competitive game time coincides with an exhibition of prints related to the game at the New Art Center in New York City.
  • The dates of the exhibition are May 1-19, 2012. The game begins at 8am EDT on May 1, 2012 and ends at 11:59pm EDT on May 20th, 2012.
  • The first five players to reach a perfect score or the highest five scorers at the end of the competition will receive 8″ x 10″ prints from the exhibition signed by the artist and infinite bragging rights!

A Puzzling Display: How to Play

1) Register:

Register for the game by choosing a username and email. You will be asked to verify your account with an email address. Your address will not be shared with or sold to a third party.

Q: Why do I have to register to play?

A: Registering with a username, password and email address will allow you to play the game at your pace, check your progress and compare your progress with others’.

2) Pick a Challenge:

Pick from twenty (20) challenges. You can play the challenges in any order you like.

Q: Should I start with the first puzzle? 

A: The challenges are loosely arranged from easier to more difficult, by you may have skills and knowledge that may help you do better on some puzzles more than others. Feel free to explore!

3) Explore the Puzzle:

Read the instructions above each puzzle carefully, as they hold clues to solving the puzzle. Be sure to click around the puzzle space below, as the challenges are sometimes behind the Englyph artwork.

Q: I’m stuck! Can I get some help?

A: Don’t be afraid to use search engines or the links provided at the bottom of this page to help you solve the puzzles.

4) Enter Your Answers

Answer entry fields are always below the puzzle space. As an aid, the correct number of letters for each answer is displayed. Your score on each challenge will be revealed immediately after you submit answers.

Q: Does punctuation count in the answers?

A: Letter counts do not include punctuation except for the dot (“.”) in a URL, but feel free to enter appropriate non-letter characters. They will not be counted in your answer. 

Q: How many times can I submit answers?

A: You can only submit answers once per challenge, so check them carefully before submitting. Feel free to write down your answers on scratch paper. 

Q: When can I see the correct answers?

A: Correct answers to the puzzles will only be posted after the main competition is over, after 11:59pm, May 20, 2012.

5) Check Your Progress

You can track your progress by clicking on the “My Progress” link and check your scores against other players by clicking on the “Scoreboard” link.

About the Artist

Tim Roseborough is a digital artist and musician. His artwork and exhibitions have been featured in numerous publications, including Art In America, ARTNews, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Arts Monthly, SF Examiner, and the San Francisco Bay Guardian. Roseborough has performed and exhibited his artwork nationally, including the 2010 ZERO1 Biennial, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Root Division, Artexpo New York, The Garage San Francisco, ARTWork SF, and the Catharine Clark Gallery in San Francisco. Mr. Roseborough lives and works in San Francisco, California. Please visit his site and learn more about A Puzzling Display here.

Take One: A Gifting Performance by Tim Roseborough

The website for Take One: A Gifting Performance by Tim Roseborough is live. Please explore Roseborough’s site and share your thoughts about his logographic system. It was an honor to have my Shotgun Review featured in Art Practical’s, Best of Year Two, issue. You can read more here.

All Fit Together by Tim Roseborough

One of the most unique gifts I’ve received this year was a piece in All Fit Together by Tim Roseborough. My partner and I feel incredibly honored that we’ve been included! Please click on the image above to view the All Fit Together site to learn more about Roseborough’s logographic system, Englyph. This past year, Roseborough’s work was also featured in Art in America. Please watch the video below to how these people fit together.

All Fit Together from Tim Roseborough on Vimeo.

It was a real treat to see Tim Roseborough’s work on exhibit in Harlem during my vacation. His latest work, Pan-African, looks at the Pan-Africanism movement through new media. With his rendition and video of controversial song, “Ever Race Has a Flag but The Coon”, and re-contextualization of the song lyrics in Englyph, this intelligent work forces provokes one to ponder the meaning of identity and solidarity.

Please click on the image above to learn more about Pan-African.

ATTN: Reader ~ This post is LONG overdue.

Please let me know if you have any questions about the show.

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surveillance |sərˈvāləns| noun: close observation, esp. of a suspected spy or criminal: he found himself put under surveillance by military intelligence

ORIGIN early 19th cent.: from French, from sur- ‘over’ + veiller ‘watch’ (from Latin vigilare ‘keep watch’ ).

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Recently, I met someone whose relative works for the FBI.  This relative belongs to the surveillance division. Obviously, fascination grew and I started imagining scenarios of espionage and intrigue. My friend continued, “Well, I’m told it’s actually very boring work until something happens, which is quite rare.” [Insert fail horn]. Really? Then again, if you think about it, isn’t that why anyone watches anything…to wait for something to happen? Rolling dice and calculating the probability of landing on even numbers (i.e., Gambler’s fallacy and yes, I actually had to do this in grade school for math class) seems so much more interesting until artists were asked to explore the idea of surveillance in this post 9/11 world. On the eve of September 11, 2011, at The Performance Art Institute, the Bay Area art community gathered together to view works in the group exhibition, Keeping an Eye on Surveillance, curated by Hanna Regev. Below are my reflections of artists that captivated my attention.

** For this post, I selected five artists from the show. For a full listing of artists, please click here.**

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A view of the crowd at the opening of Keeping an Eye on Surveillance at The Performance Art Institute

Jim Campbell

Campbell’s beautifully executed piece, Church on 5th Avenue, illustrates transient actions of everyday life into arresting LED sculptures forcing the viewer to concentrate on the subject versus the act of surveillance. Squinting my eyes, I was able to see discernible articulations of the body. Almost magically, a city scape with people walking and cars whizzing by appeared. The multitude of technologies at work in Campbell’s art speaks to both his experience and interpretations of the post modern world. Elegance and precision are trademarks in his evolving art practice. One of the main reasons Campbell’s work remains emblematic of our time is his desire to show humanity as best described in his sentiment below,

“…the biggest challenge for working with technology and art is to transcend the medium. To not have the technology become what the work is. To go beyond that and have some sort of humanist side to the work”.

Artist, Jim Campbell's use of industrial materials to create one of the most elegant displays of a such a complex topic

Title and materials: Church on 5th Avenue (2001), 29 x 22 x 7 inches. Custom electronics, 768 LEDs, treated Plexiglas. A matrix of 32 x 24 (768) pixels made out of red LEDs displays a pedestrian and auto traffic scene in NY from an off-street perspective. There is a sheet of diffusing plexiglas angled in front of the grid. As the pedestrians move from left to right the figures gradually go from a discrete representation to a continuous one (or metaphorically from a digital representation to an analog one). ~ Source of detailed description is from Artist’s website

Tim Roseborough

My survey of artist Tim Roseborough's survey of the subject

Title and materials: The Spectacular Seat (2011), Multi-media installation

One of the more psychologically engaging pieces of the evening was Tim Roseborough’s The Spectacular Seat, which involved a real-time feed displaying the interior of a men’s restroom. Oddly enough, men (and some women) were told beforehand about the live feed but most didn’t seem to mind and proceeded to use the restroom. The knowledge of being watched affected the piece dramatically. The act of knowing changed the idea of surveillance to spectacle, hence the àpropos name of the Spectacular Seat. Since the pseudonym of Art Research Group was used to cast the original surveillance subject, Roseborough’s transparent approach at acquiring this initial data gave way to lively discussion during the opening. From the use of the internet and social networking to create this work, a strong sense of inquiry ensued at the opening.

Scott Kildall

An exhibition visitor viewing the surveillance footage from Scott Kildall's piece, Double Reflection

Title and materials: Double Reflection (2008), Video Sculpture with Single-Channel Video

Artist, Scott Kildall, set up his piece, Double Reflection, in Dolores Park to capture footage of curious onlookers on a sunny afternoon in San Francisco for the show.  With Double Reflection, the curiosity itself becomes the act. It took on a performative aspect because it was relatively conspicuous but a bit enigmatic. Many people didn’t know what to make of this large sculpture that appeared to be a mirror yet shaped similarly to a periscope. The question of whether it was an object of surveillance played more of role in the exhibition versus out in the public space. To learn more about the piece, please click here.

Justin Hoover

Justin Hoover's piece, Giving you my Eyes

Title and materials: Giving You my Eyes (2011), Multi-media installation

Hoover’s, Giving You my Eyes, gave the surveyor (in this case, his assistant) his sense of sight. Since this puts a completely different spin on the idea of watching, it begs the question, is this surveillance? What does it say about the way we watch, observe, and act when the person that needs to see is unable to do so? What is the participant’s role in the act of surveillance if Hoover were to give his Eyes to you? I’m hoping to gain access to this performance piece at some point.

Jennifer Locke

Locke's, Minicam II involves participants with minicams recording the other while a third camera records the two from above

Title and materials: Minicam II (2006), Video

From a seemingly never-ending multitude of camera angles, Minicam II shows two (clothed) men wrestling (reminiscent of Oliver Reed and Alan Bates nude wrestling scene in the film adaptation of DH Lawrence’s Women in Love) with minicams taped to their chests. The multitude of angles makes the act intimate because the grunting, panting, and sweating were audible and visible. Circling back around to where we started, surveillance is about waiting for things to happen and more often than not, it’s a monotonous and wearisome task to vigilantly watch, well, nothing. Locke’s piece contrasts this view. We continue to stare and watch (closely) and waiting but is it surveillance? How does it redefine the act of observation? Yes, dear friend, I would like you to answer the question. Tell me what you think…wishing you were there (and, if you were, I invite you to engage with me).

Artist: Scott Kildall


Artist: Justin Hoover


Artist: Tim Roseborough


Artist: Jennifer Locke


Artist: Lisa Blatt


Artist: Lisa Blatt


Artist: Antonio Cortez


Artist: Jim Campbell


Artist: Jim Campbell