We expect objects to talk to us. That’s the core concept of the excellent exhibition Talk to Me running now, through November 7 at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. If you are interested in video games, radios that sneeze, Rubik’s Cubes for the blind or any of the many other ways.
If you can make it to New York City, I strongly urge you to attend. If not, flick through the gallery here. I shot pictures and videos of some of the cooler pieces in the exhibit during a visit yesterday.
To orient you, before you dive in, here’s how the museum describes the purpose of Talk To Me on the exhibition’s official website:
“Talk to Me explores the communication between people and things. All objects contain information that goes well beyond their immediate use or appearance. In some cases, objects like mobile phones and computers exist to provide us with access to complex systems and networks, behaving as gateways and interpreters. Whether openly and actively, or in subtle, subliminal ways, things talk to us, and designers help us develop and improvise the dialogue.
The exhibition focuses on objects that involve a direct interaction, such as interfaces, information systems, visualisation design, and communication devices, and on projects that establish an emotional, sensual, or intellectual connection with their users. Examples range from a few iconic products of the late 1960s to several projects currently in development-including computer and machine interfaces, websites, video games, devices and tools, furniture and physical products, and extending to installations and whole environments.”
The Avatar Machine is an outfit that you wear that has a goggle headset and a camera sticking out of the back. As the video shows, the person who wears is sees a third-person view of themselves walking through the world. Brilliant. Watch the video here for more.
The seemingly blank Notepad is actually printed with the names of every civilian who died in the first three years of the current war in Iraq. Their names are printed in microscopic text, so as to appear like the lines on a blank notepad. The intent: to imagine that such notepads, used unwittingly by government officials, would subliminally make them aware of the toll of the war. Click the image to enlarge it for a better view.
It’s the SMSlingshot! Click the image to enlarge it for a better view.
Hyperreal Everyday Life is a set of goggles that makes reality seem more epic by letterboxing it into cinematic widescreen and scoring it with epic movie soundtracks.
And there’s so much more. Go to the exhibition, people (official info here), if you can get to New York City.