MoMA curator explains design as focus of museum's video game exhibit in TED talk

The Museum of Modern Art's first video game exhibit ruffled a lot of feathers, but curator Paola Antonelli said in a recent TED talk that she felt games were necessary additions to the museum as examples of the importance of design in our lives.

Antonelli is the senior curator of the museum's Department of Architecture and Design, and helped lead the effort to add video games to the MoMA collection. The exhibit, Applied Design, launched earlier this year and includes 14 games such as Pac-Man and Tetris.

"All hell broke loose," said Antonelli, when MoMA announced its intention to bring in video games. Critics lambasted the museum for "putting Pac-Man alongside Picasso."

For Antonelli, the games-as-art discussion is moot; the goal of Applied Design, and the games in it, is to celebrate the medium of video games as interaction design. In response to those who charge that designers are aspiring artists, she said, "Designers aspire to be really great designers, thank you very much, and that's more than enough."

Antonelli continued discussing Applied Design as an exhibit designed to open people's minds about how design is omnipresent, flipping on its head a Gustave Flaubert quote about living in an ivory tower.

"I have always tried to live in an ivory tower, but a tide of shit is beating at its walls, threatening to undermine it," said Flaubert, the French writer and author of Madame Bovary.

Antonelli quipped, "I consider myself the tide of shit."

More from Polygon

The Sims 4 Gameplay Video

  • The horror of Five Nights at Freddy's

  • Dark Souls 2: Crown of the Old Iron King Overview

  • Spacecom: a fast 4X built for multiplayer

  • Pillars of Eternity builds on role-playing classics

Latest Discussions

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new Polygon username and password

As part of the new Polygon launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to Polygon going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.
Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_5353_tracker