MoMA’s Paola Antonelli on thinking of games as design objects

Well, we know what videogames are, but what does it mean to be a videogame designer? I posed this question to Paola Antonelli, a force in the world of modern art. She is currently the Senior Curator of the Department of Architecture & Design as well as the Director of R&D at The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City.

What I love about Paola is how expansive her view of design is. She pushed the museum to expand design objects like Eames chairs into the digital domain. Under her guidance, they acquired everything from the @ symbol, and typefaces like Helvetica, to the original set of emoji released in Japan in 1999. In 2012, the museum did something different. They selected 14 videogames for their permanent collection. Some games you’ll know. The Sims. Pac-Man. Some games you might not. For example, Passage, Jason Rohrer’s game about life, death, and marriage.

Subscribe on Pocket Casts, Radio Public, Google Podcasts, or Spotify.

Notes

Edited by Anthony Martinez.

  • Show All

Sam and Andy Rolfes put the life in livestream

Sam and Andy Rolfes self-describe their work as “overly navel-gazing, obsessed-with-layers, weird.” From visualizing songs by Lady Gaga and BLACKPINK to facilitating mind-bending, improvisational performances at MoMA, the duo are in a perpetual toggle between real life and the screen. Cleverly using VR, mixed reality, figurative animation, and motion capture…


Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley creates game worlds from autonomous archives

What happens when games account for the players’ identities? Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley’s work does just this. Traversing game design, performance, and sound art, the London-born, Berlin-based artist constructs stratified game experiences that depend on the player’s privilege. Someone who identifies as Black and trans will have a distinct gameplay experience; someone who…


Rachel Rossin makes entropy from infinity

How do we account for the tension between technology’s infinite, unrestricted promise and the impermanence of being human? Rachel Rossin interrogates this slippage. Floating between painting, VR worlds, holograms, and more, the Brooklyn-based artist carries with her the essence of what it means to be alive. Rossin’s work meditates on…


Salome Asega on cultivating the ecosystem of art and technology

“Embodied” may be the best word to describe the projects of artist, researcher, and educator Salome Asega. She has created VR experiences that evoke the channeling of diasporic spirits, a Kinect lesson that reinstates a dance form’s history, and a roulette wheel that sends participants to lesser-known corners of a…