The Ministry of Artistic Affairs
Sunday, December 5, 2010

Once considered the low-stakes rec room sport of listless adolescents, Ping-Pong's been enjoying a revival as of late, thanks in part to Ping-Pong hideaways like New York City's SPiN. Academy Award-winning actress Sarandon, a Pong fanatic herself, is a part-owner of SPiN and will be bringing all the table tennis fun to Art Basel Miami when she hosts the Art of Ping-Pong December 4th at the Delano. The event, co-hosted by SPiN Galactic and the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, will feature a rubber Ping-Pong table specially designed by Nathalie Karg and Tom Burr as well as artists competing against each other in a tournament that, fingers crossed for neck-craning attendees, will get arty and ugly. Alas, it's an invite-only evening, but if you're one of the lucky few on the guest list, keep your eyes peeled for Calvin Klein, Julian Schnabel, Richard Phillips, and other art stars.

Below, Sarandon, who sweetly told us she won't be competing in the evening's games (though we're not sure if we believe her), tells us about Ping-Pong as an art form.

This event is called the "Art of Ping-Pong." Is Ping-Pong its own art form?

I think so. It's very beautiful to watch, especially when you're watching people who really know what they're doing, but it's fun to watch when they're people who don't know what they're doing. The tables themselves, though, and the ones being built for our party, are so beautiful. And it's challenging for designers. It's not like an ordinary object that you use every day. You can find a way though, to make it really elegant and really funny.

Ping-Pong seems like the perfect sport to pair with the oh-so-seriousness of Art Basel.

One of the best things about Ping-Pong is that it's so social. I think it's a wonderful way for people from all over the world to talk and socialize and have exchanges. That's why I think it's so much fun -- you can actually talk to people while you're playing and have funny exchanges.

And will you be competing on Saturday?

I don't know if what I'll be doing is competing. That's a little strong. I might be laughing and drinking and playing, but I don't know if you can call that competing. Ping-Pong will sort of be more of the backdrop.

By Elizabeth Thompson for AOL + Paper.