Saturday, July 24, 2010

MoMA "Tags" the @

"By the time I landed, it was like a volcano eruption," says [senior MoMA curator] Antonelli. Commentators were in a lather on account of the unusual nature of the acquisition: the @ symbol, the tiny "pig's tail" that resides above the number two on the QWERTY keyboard. The acquisition cost nothing, was freely available to everyone, and didn't add anything material to the museum's collection. Inserting @ into MoMA's collection, Antonelli wrote, "relies on the assumption that physical possession of an object as a requirement for an acquisition is no longer necessary, and therefore it sets curators free to tag the world."
I like the idea of museums becoming artists in themselves -- because let's be clear, putting the @ symbol on a wall and saying you've "acquired" it is a work of performance.

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