The Imaginary App
September 28th, 2013 to October 20th, 2013
An international art and design exhibition
Curators Paul D. Miller a. k. a. DJ Spooky and Svitlana Matviyenko Curatorial assistant Grant Dempsey
Back in the 1960s, media theorist Marshall McLuhan noticed that the proximity to each other of everyone and everything that is typical for a village became a global phenomenon. Since then the "global village” has been growing only smaller: from the size of a room to a desk, from a desktop to a laptop, and now, they say, the world is in your pocket, locked in a smart phone, accessible anytime, anywhere by means of an app under the tips of your fingers.
The word "app" came around 2009 and quickly became popular after Apple’s iPhone ad campaign. It is an abbreviated software application - figuratively and literally, linguistically and technically: apps are small software programs designed to apply the power of a computing system for a particular purpose. The move to the Cloud marks a paradigm shift in computing: apps have become a major technique in making the media environment seamless and subliminal. Apps are offered to us as channels that would navigate us through the uncanny media networks and rhizomes. They are promised to us as shortcuts that guarantee direct and immediate access to anything we need.
The Imaginary App is an international exhibition that features the works by prominent designers, art students and even teenagers of Museum London’s Youth Council that make the viewers confront the hopes we cherish about technology, especially those endorsed by the slogan: “There’s an app for that.” By its rhetoric and structure, the exhibition imitates an app store. It asks: “What is the most desirable, terrifying, smart, ridiculous, or necessary app that has not been and, possibly, will never be released?” You are invited to enter this simulated space and to confront technological fantasies, many of which could be your own.
The exhibition is realized with the help of generous sponsorship of LEDC - London Economic Development Corporation. We are thankful to Melissa D. Lierman, Director, IT Business Development for her support of this project.
We are grateful to Museum London and its Director Brian Meehan, Curator of Art Cassandra Getty, and Curator of Public Programs Dianne Pearce. We appreciate the assistance of designers Gerardo Toledo and Jonah Dempcy. Our special thanks go Kadie Ward and our curatorial assistant Grant Dempsey.
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