Since 1994, MoMA has been purchasing software to add to its official collection. Bjork's 2011 musical album and user experience app Biophilia recently became the first downloadable app to be purchased by the museum.
Paola Antonelli, senior curator for architecture and design at MoMA, writes that "even more than video games, apps are highly “collectible” because of their finite or semi-finite nature—they might be connected to live feeds and to the Web, but their infrastructure design is stable and defined, unlike that of websites." Of Bjork, he writes that she "has never ceased to experiment and surprise. The multidimensional nature of her art—in which sound and music are the spine, but never the confines, for multimedia performances that also encompass graphic and digital design, art, cinema, science, illustration, philosophy, fashion, and more—is a testament to her curiosity and desire to learn and team up with diverse experts and creators."
Biophilia uses interactive graphics and animations that allow users to "listen to and contribute" to the 10 songs on the album. Designers Max Weisel, Scott Snibbe, Mathias Augustyniak, Michael Amzalag, and others conceived of and created these unique environments that push the project beyond just an album and turn it into a work of art. Check out the project video below and head to the MoMA blog to read more about the acquisition.