A website that maps crowd-sourced data in a disaster. A digital character that giggles when you poke his belly. And a device that allows men to menstruate.
Those are just a few of the items that will go on display at Talk To Me, the Museum of Modern Art’s latest tech-focused show in New York City this Sunday. Featuring roughly 200 objects from artists and designers all over the world (all of them laden with individual QR codes), the exhibit is all about communication — of the sort that occurs among humans, but also the types that take place between man and machine.
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“We’ve become really communicative animals,” says Paola Antonelli, the MoMA curator behind the show. “Social networks are a symptom of that. This is something that designers can take into account when designing a new object or an interface design technology.” The exhibit, therefore, includes a wide gamut of interactive tech, from a wall-sized installation of Talking Carl, the totally adorbz, touch-sensitive smartphone character, to Ushahidi, a website that aggregates and maps crowd-sourced data in a crisis. The latter has been used to pinpoint danger zones in the aftermath of violent elections in Kenya and the earthquake in Haiti.
The show also features a number of totally bizarro pieces — such as the menstruation machine mentioned above. Antonelli gives us a preview of some of the exhibit’s freakier objects.