Explore Our Digital Obsession at Pop-Up Cereal Bar

SoHo exhibition offers free cereal and a cold hard look at how human relationships are impacted by technology

Head on over to SoHo this week for complimentary Lucky Charms, free WiFi and access to a lounge clad with oversized stuffed teddy bears to relax, er, reevaluate your dependence on digital technology. The pop-up cereal bar and WiFi café installation is part of artist Rachel Lee Hovnanian’s exhibit Instant Gratification. According to the press release:

Instant Gratification investigates our dependency on technology and its benefits by linking our cultural addiction to sweetened cereals in the way both were marketed to us as being time-saving and fun. Taking customers back to the 1960s, the artist challenges us to reevaluate our relationship with smart phones, tablets, apps and other forms of convenience technology.

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Visitors enter through a massive cereal-box façade where they will be served complimentary Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops and other sugary cereals. Hovnanian illustrates our instant gratification culture through saccharine breakfast food to mimic the sugar rush sensation she associates with constant indulgence in social media. More screen time than face time? Not so “Grrrrreat!” Hovnanian tells Food and Wine:

Millions of people start each day by plugging in and devouring their favorite quick-to-eat cereal. I know I do. It seems to me that we are living a synthetic life, with fake sugary food, fake friends on the Internet. We are surrounded by virtual reality on our devices, which appears very real to many of us.

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Instant Gratification is an extension of Hovnanian’s solo exhibition Plastic Perfect, another display investigating how technology influences human bonds. The Leila Heller Gallery exhibition, open September 4 through October 18, reopens the topic of digital preoccupation, vanity, and intimacy through sculpture and multimedia.


Whether you’re seeking a chance to reassess your relationship with your iPhone or simply there for the Wheaties, Instant Gratification will certainly ignite your senses.

Instant Gratification opens Thursday, September 18 from 6pm to 9pm at 452 West Broadway, and will be open daily from 10am to 6pm through Sunday, September 21.

Photos: Rachel Lee Hovnanian