Björk’s documentary with David Attenborough isn’t the last we’ve heard of her Biophilia record. New York’s Museum of Modern Art has now added the album’s app to its archives, making it the first downloadable program in MoMA’s permanent collection.
“I started thinking about acquiring Biophilia when it was released, in 2011,” writes Paola Antonelli, the senior curator in MoMA’s Department of Architecture and Design. “At that time, a year after the iPad had been introduced, designers and developers were excitedly experimenting with apps that took advantage of a screen bigger than the iPhone. With Biophilia however, 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.
She continues, “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. Indeed, in the case of an app like Biophilia, the only variable left open is the exquisite interaction that the artwork welcomes and invites, a testament to the equally exquisite experimental nature of the artist that conceived it.”