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iPad art by singer Bjork becomes first-ever app in MoMA's permanent collection

post #1 of 29
Thread Starter 
While Apple fans consider the iPad hardware itself to be a work of art, it's an app that was designed for the iPad in part by Icelandic singer Bj?rk that has earned the distinction of becoming the first application of its kind accepted into the permanent collection at New York's Museum of Modern Art.




First released in 2011, the collaborative $12.99 iPad app Bj?rk: Biophilia is part album, part interactive multimedia presentation. As users listen to tracks from the artist, they can also experience them in new ways through visualization and input allowed by Apple's iPad.

But the software goes even further than that, and allows people who play the album to contribute to songs. Each song is given its own "mini-app" where different interactive themes allow users to play musical instruments. For example, in the track "Solstice," users can contribute to the song by controlling the orbits, speed and coordinates of planets orbiting a star.

"Each in-app experience is inspired by and explores the relationships between musical structures and natural phenomena, from the atomic to the cosmic," the app's description reads "You can use Biophilia to make and learn about music, to find out about natural phenomena, or to just enjoy Bj?rk's music."

In the three years since it's become available, the "Biophilia" app has gained recognition, and as of this week it holds the distinction of being the first downloadable app to become a part of MoMA's permanent collection. The admission was announced this week, and spotlighted on Friday by TUAW.




In a post announcing the inclusion of "Biophilia," MoMA Department of Architecture and Design Senior Curator Paola Antonelli noted that while the museum has acquired digital artifacts in the past, the collaborative creation by Bj?rk is the first of its kind at MoMA. Other digital works of modern art at the museum include video games, videos, fonts, and even code.

"I started thinking about acquiring Biophilia when it was released, in 2011," Antonelli wrote. "At that time, a year after the iPad had been introduced, designers and developers were excitedly experimenting with apps that took advantage of a screen bigger than the iPhone. With Biophilia however, Bj?rk truly innovated the way people experience music by letting them participate in performing and making the music and visuals, rather than just listening passively."

Of course, for those who can't make it to the world-renowned Museum of Modern Art in Midtown Manhattan, Bj?rk: Biophilia can be experienced on an iPad from wherever, thanks to its continued availability Apple's App Store.
post #2 of 29
Yes.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #3 of 29
Oh Huddler Lifestyle. It's Björk, not Bj?rk. Learn to Unicode. lol.gif

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #4 of 29

Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

post #5 of 29
I love Bjoerk...she always looks so alternatively hot.

iMac Intel 27" Core i7 3.4, 16GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HD + 4TB RAID 1+0, Nuforce Icon HDP, OS X 10.10.1; iPad Air 64GB; iPhone 5 32GB; iPod Classic; iPod Nano 4G; Apple TV 2.

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post #6 of 29

Where in this case being part of the "permanent collection" means being a serious pain in the butt for the person responsible for persistance and probably being 100% inaccessible within 10 years.

post #7 of 29
Zzzzzz. Wake me when there's ACTUAL news worth reporting on.
post #8 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

Where in this case being part of the "permanent collection" means being a serious pain in the butt for the person responsible for persistance and probably being 100% inaccessible within 10 years.

 

I dunno.  iPad has been around for 4 years.  I think it's entirely likely given its broad success that 10 years from now is less than the sum of the time between now and when the last iPad will be available which will run the last-ever version of the app and the time between then and when said iPad unit ceases functioning.  I'd suspect that "serious pain" will involve upgrading their iPad unit (assuming it'll be stored on a device rather than just the app file on some other media) a small number of times over the next decade.

You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

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You did not come into the world to fail. You came into the world to succeed.

- Gordon Hinckley

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post #9 of 29
"Moustache!"

Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #10 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

 

Examples of what you consider fine art and great music?

post #11 of 29

At $12.99, probably one of their cheaper acquisitions this year.

post #12 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by jinglesthula View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by malax View Post
 

Where in this case being part of the "permanent collection" means being a serious pain in the butt for the person responsible for persistance and probably being 100% inaccessible within 10 years.

 

I dunno.  iPad has been around for 4 years.  I think it's entirely likely given its broad success that 10 years from now is less than the sum of the time between now and when the last iPad will be available which will run the last-ever version of the app and the time between then and when said iPad unit ceases functioning.  I'd suspect that "serious pain" will involve upgrading their iPad unit (assuming it'll be stored on a device rather than just the app file on some other media) a small number of times over the next decade.

 

When will the last iPad be made? There's a question! Twenty years' time? Fifty? Ten?

"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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"If the young are not initiated into the village, they will burn it down just to feel its warmth."
- African proverb
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post #13 of 29
Soon people will be involved in auto accidents due to Björking while driving...
"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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"That (the) world is moving so quickly that iOS is already amongst the older mobile operating systems in active development today." — The Verge
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post #14 of 29
How exciting! Björk is such an incredibly talented, visionary artist. Unfortunately, most people don't "get" her, or get too caught up with her "weirdness," or focus too much on her one commercial single, and don't see what an amazing musician & visual performer she really is.

/soapbox
post #15 of 29
The lower two screen shots of this app remind me of that 80s vector graphics game Tempest.
post #16 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post
 

Examples of what you consider fine art and great music?


Yes, do tell us about some "properly" rated as great modern art....

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by Moreck View Post

How exciting! Björk is such an incredibly talented, visionary artist. Unfortunately, most people don't "get" her, or get too caught up with her "weirdness," or focus too much on her one commercial single, and don't see what an amazing musician & visual performer she really is.

/soapbox

 

I've always found Björk a fascinating figure - her unique music/Icelandic roots, distinctive videos, her iconoclastic ways (art as life/life as art), the other unexpected arenas she pops up in noticeable ways... ...and it's not that she's someone I listen to/watch over and over, or that I even like all her work, but give her big props for creativity, originality and breaking new ground... ...and here's another (way interesting and unique) first she's achieved...

...so good on 'er....

And good on Apple (with the main cred to Steve Jobs) for having always fostered that intersection between tech and liberal arts that Suddenly Newton posted the image of, and creating the device and built the ecosystem that makes real, groundbreaking new art possible.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton
 
Yes.


An artist friend of mine just got her first iPad (a Mini) and is finding her work totally revitalized and is finally moving to direct-to-web digitally made art as a new medium that gives her a whole new audience and medium.

It's not all about the specs and details of the tech. Like the commercials say, "What's your verse...??"

This is the "real news" of the digital revolution: not its internal engineering, but its impact on human society.  Not only gaming, content consumption, productivity, medicine, industrial/business uses, snapshooting, etc., but also the totally new and novel that tickles our sense of wonder.


Edited by bigpics - 6/14/14 at 1:42am

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #17 of 29
She's actually more creative and innovative than Dr Dre will ever be.
 
Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
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Where's the new Apple TV?
 
 
(So Y is the new X?   Zzzzzzzzzz......)
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post #18 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post
 

Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

 

 

You love an artist because she is hot?

post #19 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 
Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

Examples of what you consider fine art and great music?

Oh, I did not mean to offend. Just expressing an opinion.

I prefer musicians and bands that actually had great artistry in both their vocals and their compositional skills (not to mention instrumentation), such as (in no particular order) Zappa, Zeppelin, Traffic, Clapton, Joplin, Hendrix, Stevens, Dylan, Mitchell, Tull, Taylor, King, Maal, Toure, CSN, Young, Reeves, Keita, Lema, Simone, Cohen, West..... I could go on.
post #20 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ochyming View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 
Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.


You love an artist because she is hot?

I think you were responding to brlawyer?
post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 
Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

Examples of what you consider fine art and great music?

Oh, I did not mean to offend. Just expressing an opinion.

I prefer musicians and bands that actually had great artistry in both their vocals and their compositional skills (not to mention instrumentation), such as (in no particular order) Zappa, Zeppelin, Traffic, Clapton, Joplin, Hendrix, Stevens, Dylan, Mitchell, Tull, Taylor, King, Maal, Toure, CSN, Young, Reeves, Keita, Lema, Simone, Cohen, West..... I could go on.

On that list, I could only agree with Zappa.

Bob Dylan had a major impact on music, but I find him repetitively annoying.

Zep is good if you're wasted, kinda like SNL. Otherwise, often imitated (back before hip hop killed rock 'n roll), never equalled, but kinda pretentious.

i like techno and bluegrass, go figure.

Your opinion and mileage may vary. As I recall, SJ idolized Dylan.
post #22 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Benjamin Frost View Post
 

 

When will the last iPad be made? There's a question! Twenty years' time? Fifty? Ten?

Exactly.  I was overstating it by saying "within 10 years," but any form of electrical/software device is orders of magnitude less permanent than traditional art.

 

But perhaps "permanent" in this context just means they won't rotate it out of their display in a few months or weeks.  Presumably it doesn't mean it will be literally on public display forever.

post #23 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by vaporland View Post


On that list, I could only agree with Zappa.

Bob Dylan had a major impact on music, but I find him repetitively annoying.

Zep is good if you're wasted, kinda like SNL. Otherwise, often imitated (back before hip hop killed rock 'n roll), never equalled, but kinda pretentious.

i like techno and bluegrass, go figure.

Your opinion and mileage may vary. As I recall, SJ idolized Dylan.

Really? Not Reeves, not Simone, not Cohen, not Keita, not Mitchell? Ok...

Good techno and good bluegrass are great, but all too rare.
post #24 of 29
I imagine they'll eventually ask for (and might receive) the source code, allowing the app to survive as a piece of history forever if the money is there to keep porting it. If not, they will have to display videos of it eventually.
post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by freediverx View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

 
Good fit there: MoMA is about as overrated as Björk.

Examples of what you consider fine art and great music?

Oh, I did not mean to offend. Just expressing an opinion.

I prefer musicians and bands that actually had great artistry in both their vocals and their compositional skills (not to mention instrumentation), such as (in no particular order) Zappa, Zeppelin, Traffic, Clapton, Joplin, Hendrix, Stevens, Dylan, Mitchell, Tull, Taylor, King, Maal, Toure, CSN, Young, Reeves, Keita, Lema, Simone, Cohen, West..... I could go on.

WOT??...no PUNK! 1oyvey.gif
post #26 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I imagine they'll eventually ask for (and might receive) the source code, allowing the app to survive as a piece of history forever if the money is there to keep porting it. If not, they will have to display videos of it eventually.

 

It's gonna be around awhile...

 

Björk's Biophilia App Will Be Added to Curriculum in Select European Schools

As part of the Biophilia Educational Programme

Quote:

The Biophilia Educational Programme, an educational protocol that utilizes Björk's 2011 science-and-music-based app/album, will soon be integrated into the curricula of several European schools, Exclaim reports.

 

According to the program's website, Björk has collaborated with researchers and Scandinavian educators to further develop the Biophilia Educational Programme, which seeks to "inspire children to explore their own creativity, and to learn about music and science through new technologies".

 

The curriculum is designed around use of the Biophilia app, which uses screen technology to link lessons on music and science. It is intended for use by children between the ages of 8 and 15, and has previously been used experimentally at schools in Paris, Los Angeles, and Buenos Aires, though there are no reports of which specific schools will be initiating the program at this time. 

 

http://pitchfork.com/news/55577-bjorks-biophilia-app-will-be-added-to-curriculum-in-select-european-schools/

An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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An iPhone, a Leatherman and thou...  ...life is complete.

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post #27 of 29
I remember tat Bjork was doing all sorts of innovative stuff with QuickTime back in the days when QTi (QuickTime Interactive) was available. With apps such as LiveStage Pro, they would make very creative use of the QTX scripting language undergirding QuickTime. Alas, that stuff is no more.
post #28 of 29

Some of that stuff is still viewable using QuickTime 7.  That is, if you can find any  of it.

post #29 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Retrogusto View Post
 

At $12.99, probably one of their cheaper acquisitions this year.

Could be MoMA paid a lot more since it's music played in a public place!

 

Depending on legislation and User License.

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