Synapsis Shuffle (1999)

Synapsis Shuffle is a participatory performative piece comprising fifty-two panels—as in a deck of cards—plus two “joker” panels. Each polylaminate support includes inkjet pigment transfers of imagery from Rauschenberg’s photographs, sometimes with the addition of acrylic and graphite. It premiered at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, in 2000. Each time the work is installed, individuals other than Rauschenberg make the selection and compose the panels in groups ranging between three and seven. A serial artwork, rather than a series, the piece does not have to be shown in its entirety.