Film & New Media


Curated by Paul D. Miller (a. k. a. DJ Spooky) and Svitlana Matviyenko

Video Screens (Administrative Corridor)

Co-curated by acclaimed DJ Spooky, The Imaginary App is a collection of theoretical and imagined mobile applications created by prominent designers, art students and teenagers from Museum London’s Youth Council who were asked: “What is the most desirable, terrifying, smart, ridiculous, or necessary app that has not been and, possibly, will never be released?” This installation confront the hopes we cherish about technology, especially those endorsed by the slogan: “There’s an app for that.” By its rhetoric and structure, this collection imitates an app store. You are invited to explore the creations on the four screens through the Administrative Corridor and to confront technological fantasies, many of which could be your own.

Since the term “global village” was coined by media theorist Marshall McLuhan in the 1960s, the virtual world has been growing only smaller— from the size of a room to a desk, from a desktop to a laptop, and now, they say, the world is in your pocket, locked in a smart phone, accessible anytime, anywhere by means of an app, at the tips of your fingers.

The word “app” appeared around 2009 and quickly became popular after Apple’s iPhone ad campaign. It is an abbreviated software application—figuratively and literally, linguistically and technically. Apps are small software programs designed to apply the power of a computing system for a particular purpose. The move to the Cloud marks a paradigm shift in computing: apps have become a major technique in making the media environment seamless and subliminal. Apps are offered to us as channels that would navigate us through the uncanny media networks and rhizomes. They are promised to us as shortcuts that guarantee direct and immediate access to anything we need.
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