New York’s Museum of Modern Art will unveil Talk to Me, an exhibition investigating the communication between people and objects, on view from July 24 to November 7, 2011. The exhibition features a wide range of objects from all over the world—from interfaces and products to diagrams, visualizations, and furniture by designers, students, and scientists—all designed in the past few years or currently under development.
All objects contain information that goes well beyond their immediate use or appearance. In some cases, objects like cell phones and computers exist to provide people with access to complex systems and networks, behaving as gateways and interpreters. Whether openly and actively, or in subtler, more subliminal ways, objects talk to people—and designers write the initial script on which the dialogue will be improvised and developed. Talk to Me focuses on objects and concepts that involve direct interaction, such as interfaces for ATM’s, check-in kiosks, and emergency dispatch centers; visualization design rendering complex data about cities and nations; communication devices and other products that translate and deliver information; expressive and talkative objects; and projects that establish a practical, emotional, or even sensual connection between their users and entities such as cities, companies, governmental institutions—as well as other people. Projects in current development form the bulk of the exhibition. A diverse array of examples are included in the exhibition—from computer and machine interfaces to websites, video games, products, concepts, and tools, as well as installations.
It’s a unique approach to looking at how technology communicates with us in ways seldom considered. Technology can have an emotional aspect, which is often why social media is so popular. We love to connect and communicate with others, and how we are doing it is being changed by technology. It’s interesting to consider something like an ATM having a major impact on our lives, but most of us interact with them on a daily basis. If you want to become more in tune with this technological conversation, make sure to check out Talk to Me.