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by Sean Miller

30 Jun 2015


Biophilia (One Little Indian, Ltd., 2011)

As an app developer, I’m interested, for self-serving reasons, in app design. But as someone with artistic pretensions, I’d like to consider apps beyond good design. What I’ve been increasingly interested in is app aesthetics in the fullest sense of that word. The other day, I did a little poking around on the intertubes in search of, for lack of a better keyword, “app as art”. I was looking for developers who design and publish apps with the specific intention of making them artistic (however they choose to define that loaded term). As it turns out, there’s not much out there.

As you know, smartphones, and accordingly, the software that makes them “smart”, haven’t been around for long. IBM made the very first smartphone back in 1992. They called it Simon. It was clunky, monochromatic, and not all that smart. It sold for US$899. The first smartphone to sell in decent quantities (at least in the States) was the Kyocera 6035, which came out in 2001. The smart part of its functionality was based on the Palm OS. It was basically a PalmPilot duct-taped to a cell phone. Setting the notorious corporate incursions of the “Crack”-berry aside, smartphone adoption didn’t explode into global consumer consciousness until the release of the very first iPhone, back in the Pleistocene epoch of 2007. The first Android device followed shortly thereafter in 2008.

by Zach Schonfeld

6 May 2014


The average professor spends the summer revising syllabi, planning future courses, maybe teaching a summer class or two. With some luck, there’s time for a vacation. Artist and MOMA poet laureate Kenneth Goldsmith most recently spent his carrying out a conceptual art piece that entailed printing out the entire Internet—or as much of it that fans and admirers mailed from around the world to his 500 square-meter art space in Mexico City. That includes everything that appears, or has appeared, anywhere on the Internet—Facebook photos, news articles, pornography, dating profiles, and literally anything else.

Several months ago, we spoke with Goldsmith via email about the impetus for the entirely unprecedented exhibit and how it looked in practice.

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