Never Alone

Video Games and Other Interactive Design

Sep 10, 2022–summer 2023

MoMA

Bennett Foddy. Getting Over It With Bennett Foddy. 2018. Video game software. The Museum of Modern Art, New York. Gift of the designer
  • MoMA, Floor 1, 1 South

As our devices like to remind us, we spend a huge portion of our lives in digital worlds. The interfaces we use to access them—from Zoom to FaceTime, WhatsApp to Discord, Roblox to Fortnite—are visual and tactile manifestations of code that both connect and separate us, and shape the way we behave and perceive others. Yet like other ubiquitous tools, interfaces are seldom recognized as design. This exhibition brings together notable examples of interaction design, a field that considers the points of contact between objects—whether machines, apps, or entire infrastructures—and people.

The exhibition, drawn from work in MoMA’s collection, ranges from the iconic and universal @ sign, a symbol dating back to the Middle Ages, to an ad hoc device that allows a graffiti artist with ALS to tag city walls from their bed. Games range from global staples such as Tetris and Pac-Man, to immersive explorations of the natural world, like Flower, or records of indigenous traditions and culture, like Never Alone, to forays into the absurd like Everything Is Going to Be OK. These works remind us that while the digital realm has different, and often untested, rules of engagement, interaction design can transform our behaviors—from the way we experience and move our bodies to the ways we conceive of space, time, and relationships.

Organized by Paola Antonelli, Senior Curator, Paul Galloway, Collection Specialist, and Anna Burckhardt, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Architecture and Design.

The exhibition is made possible by Allianz, MoMA’s partner of design and innovation.

Leadership contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund, in support of the Museum’s collection and collection exhibitions, are generously provided by Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley, the Sandra and Tony Tamer Exhibition Fund, The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Eva and Glenn Dubin, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, Alice and Tom Tisch, Mimi Haas, the Noel and Harriette Levine Endowment, The David Rockefeller Council, the William Randolph Hearst Endowment Fund, the Marella and Giovanni Agnelli Fund for Exhibitions, Anne Dias, Kathy and Richard S. Fuld, Jr., Kenneth C. Griffin, The International Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder.

Major contributions to the Annual Exhibition Fund are provided by The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, Emily Rauh Pulitzer, Brett and Daniel Sundheim, Karen and Gary Winnick, and Anna Marie and Robert F. Shapiro.

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