MoMA R&D

Salon 9 The Object, Offline

The Object, Offline—the second installment in the three-part object series—explored the phenomenon of objects that are born in the digital space and only subsequently get translated into the physical one. Traditionally, art and history museums have been concerned with material culture—the objects, buildings, and environments constructed by a community, a culture’s physical evidence. Today, however, objects can be born digital, or they can exist in ambivalent states. The digital dimension has become an integral part of contemporary culture, social practices, and economic systems. As a consequence, we need to reconsider and reposition the significance, functionality, and usage of objects

Objects range from products to prints, demos of scientific concepts, works of art, and prototypes of new ways of designing and building. Some are made possible by digital crowd-funding campaigns. Others are artworks created and manipulated digitally and then materialized through 3-D printing or other computerized manufacturing methods. Others still are physical representations of algorithms mapping natural behaviors, which emerge into the world creating a new language and entirely new habits.

Watch the videos from the salon and explore some of these questions: How does culture cope with these new ultra-material circumstances? How do artists, designers, and architects materialize algorithms? How do they preview in the digital space what is meant to exist in the physical one? What kind of impact has digital fabrication had on established processes of production and commercialization? What new material forms and methods can emerge from new technologies and new habits of communication and collaboration? How do we gauge the value and trustworthiness of objects and services produced online versus offline?

The salon took place on 16 June 2014

Speakers

Reading Resources