Megan Klim
"Meaningless Game"

Rules of the Meaningless Game

  1. Buy all prep materials for this game and take any preparatory class to teach you the game beforehand so you can win. If your area does not offer a class, move to an affluent area where you can be prepared adequately for this game.   (If you cannot afford a test prep class, you will be at a disadvantage)
  2. Learn HOW to play the game.  You have a better chance of winning if you understand strategies on HOW to play it.  Understanding the meaning of what the game is about is unnecessary, just that you play it well.
  3. Pencil in carefully the oval or box that corresponds to the letter of the correct answer to a question.  There is only one correct answer to the important questions that have been decided by people that think you should know this information.  Try to remember during the game what you studied beforehand to win.  (After the game is over, you will not have to remember it.) 
  4. There is only ONE answer to any question.  You may not deviate or think divergently or you will lose the game.
  5. You may not make any stray marks outside the prescribed areas or your game will be disqualified.  Doing anything outside the boxes lessens your chances of winning.
  6. Winners get a high number or score by answering prescribed questions correctly. This determines that you are smart which makes you a winner!  Therefore, you will be sent an invitation from certain schools/institution for you to be with them.
  7. Winners will receive money for playing this game well.  Amount is determined by your score and by the people or institutions that like winners.

Artist Statement

My current work addresses the themes of game using the standardized test as its platform. A scantron card (the card that gets fed into a computer to gather the score of a standardized test) is what my work references. My work  has actual photocopied scantron cards and SAT test prep answer sheets embedded in wax and shellac. The finished work is my own interpretation of a scantron card, or a test with ovals filled in, some not, which indicates the idea of being “dumb” and not knowing the answers.  The work is mounted on the bottom of a wooden file box that held file cards from a loan store. 

The idea of SAT, PSAT and tests of this nature that determine a student’s future and intelligence, to me, are the biggest game of all.  This game of being “smart” or knowledgeable is being played out in schools everyday.  I actually had a student tell me that when he took the PSAT he decided to form words instead of answering the questions with the A,B,C,D or E ovals that one fills in for an answer.  He ended up with a 50% score, thus not doing too well by most standards, but getting half right nonetheless.

The idea of what a “game” truly is or can be (something being done to gain a desired result- whether it be knowing facts, being first to get to an “end” or manipulating a system) is being played by our society everyday in our schools by our children. Whether doing well on a standardized test has anything to do with learning is what I am currently addressing.  To me, it is not really learning and I find the patterns of penciled in ovals to be more interesting than what the tests actually measure. It is my goal to turn these standardized forms into something beautiful, regardless of what is penciled in.  To me, turning these into art pieces has more individual value than their inherent “one size fits all” nature. So, the academic game is played. And how you fill out the answer sheet determines whether you win. You get into a good college; you get scholarship money or you are awarded in some way. Even if, in a week or two, you have no real memory or connection, to what these answers are or mean, it is a game that our educational system sets up that most are forced to play whether they like it or not.

Dumb Smart


Artist BiographyMegan Klim a Jersey City based artist whose mixed media work is of wax, paper, thread and ink on varying surfaces. They speak of pattern and repetition while addressing aspects of the human condition through gesture and structure.  Her current work addresses the state of education and the effects of standardized testing on young people and learning.   Her work has been shown in NJ, NY, PA, MI, FL and recently at several galleries in NYC. Ms. Klim received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art.