Collection 1970s–Present


Random-Access Memory



IBM, East Fishkill, NY. Diagram of Dynamic Random-Access Memory Chip (DRAM). 1984
  • MoMA, Floor 2, 203

Anxiety and optimism defined much of the 1980s. The last decade of the Cold War witnessed advances in computing and digital technologies that were rapidly reshaping the world. In West Germany, where reconstruction projects transformed terrain razed during World War II, artists explored stark postwar cityscapes and embraced the radical possibilities afforded by new technologies.

Named after the microchip found in every computer (Random-Access Memory, or RAM), this gallery includes works and objects that point to the military origins of forward-looking digital computing while underscoring its connection to the legacy and trauma of World War II.

Organized by Paulina Pobocha, Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, with Gee Wesley, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Media and Performance.

15 works online


Installation images

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