While conceptual art can be really ponderous, it can also be really witty — at times downright funny — and super-smart. That was the case with Joseph Coniff: This Is What It's Like, a show at Rule Gallery that was the art-world version of a smirk. Coniff, a recent Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design grad, had his tongue firmly in cheek when he conjured up this collection of oddball pieces. "Listen," a white square with a set of earphones that conveyed no sound whatsoever, referred to the silent concert that John Cage created — or didn't create. And there were other pieces that didn't work even though they looked like they would, turning them into exemplars and lampoons of new media at the same time. These non-functional devices were supplemented by digitally altered photos and a video of Coniff painting a monochrome, with the painting itself hung next to the monitor. All in all, it was a spectacular debut for an up-and-coming young artist.

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3340 Walnut St.
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