MoMA’s Recent @cquisition: The @ Symbol


Whoever in the history of art decided that highlighting the minor irritations of society through the cheekiest means possible was both a good idea and great art should probably be dug up and…irritated. And then had it passed it off as art.

When we last checked in with the Museum of Modern Art, they were letting patrons stare at a performance artist. Now, they’re acquiring the @ symbol. Press Shift-2 on your keyboard. Yeah, that thing. They’re adding it to their collection. It’s theirs, now. How?

The acquisition of @ takes one more step. It relies on the assumption that physical possession of an object as a requirement for an acquisition is no longer necessary, and therefore it sets curators free to tag the world and acknowledge things that “cannot be had”–because they are too big (buildings, Boeing 747’s, satellites), or because they are in the air and belong to everybody and to no one, like the @ — as art objects befitting MoMA’s collection. The same criteria of quality, relevance, and overall excellence shared by all objects in MoMA’s collection also apply to these entities.

Basically: It ain’t where you’re from, it’s where you’re @.

On that note, I’d like to announce the Runnin’ Scared’s Generational Collection’s first acquisition, as we lay claim to “asdfjkl;” as a meaningful expression of how you can feel when you read something like that. We would also like to acquire the ten minutes of my time spent writing this post back. That’d be nice.

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