Biophilia Becomes First App in MoMa’s Permanent Collection Skip to content

Biophilia Becomes First App in MoMa’s Permanent Collection

Icelandic artist Björk has been keeping a high profile as of late. First the Nordic Council approved her Biophilia Educational Program for incorporation into the curriculum of all Nordic schools. Then, last Monday she was featured on a surprise album released unannounced by American experimental hip hop group Death Grips on the group’s Facebook site. Now her interactive app, Biophilia, based on her best-selling 2011 album, has been inducted into the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection – the first app to receive this honor.

In a statement on MoMa’s website, senior curator Paola Antonelli, said that she “started thinking about aquiring Biophilia when it was released in 2011.”

The application, a hybrid of interactive software and a musical album, or an app album, the first of its kind, allows users to participate in their experience of the music, even altering the sound of the songs. Upon launch, the app displays a black background littered with stars, with the forefront resembling an astrologer’s map. Ten brighter stars represent each of the ten songs, and clicking on one of them brings the user to a unique sub-app, with each one relating to the theme of the song it is associated with.

„Björk truly innovated the way people experience music by letting them participate in performing and making the music and visuals, rather than just listening passively. True innovation—technological, social, performative—supported by great art is a mesmerizing gift to the world,” said Antonelli of the acquisition.

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