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Playing God


San Francisco Chronicle
Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer

"It's how individuals or society play God," Berliner explained. "You could spend five hours and not even nearly exhaust what's inside this program." Alan Stein, the collector, is an investment banker who had a long relationship with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and attended the Jewish Museum gala just to see Berliner. "I was going to ask him to make a smaller one to fit my house," he said, adding, "This is an incredible piece." Read More


San Francisco Chronicle

Kenneth Baker, Chronicle Art Critic

The commissioned works pull in many directions, but none seems like a product of traditional belief, not even Alan Berliner's entertaining piece "Playing God" (2008), which draws directly on Genesis, Chapter 1. Read More


San Francisco Bay Guardian

Glen Helfand

Filmmaker Alan Berliner adds a more crowd-pleasing form of participation with Playing God, a satisfying interactive, seven-channel video — one for each day of creation — installation that emulates a slot machine as it generates phrases with words from Genesis Read More


Wall Street Journal

David D'Arcy

Filmmaker Alan Berliner weighs chance against divine agency in "Playing God," a row of seven screens that are activated, like a slot machine, to score a jackpot if the contestant chances upon the right sequence of words. Read More


San Francisco Chronicle

Jon Carroll

At the new Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, there's an exhibition called "In the Beginning: Artists Respond to Genesis," and a fine exhibition it is. (A fine museum too, come to think of it, that almost didn't get built, and hooray for persistence.) It includes an extremely cool game/art piece called "Playing God," which is kind of like a cosmic slot machine only with video screens. Hard to describe, but you'll find that you'll elbow 12-year-old children out of the way to play a few rounds. Read More