Jessica Helfand + Ellen McGirt | Audio

S7E11: Paola Antonelli

Paola Antonelli is senior curator of the department of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art.

In the 25 years that Antonelli has been a curator at MoMA, the design collection has expanded to include not only posters and furniture but also the @ symbol and notable videogames. They may not take up as much space in a warehouse, but such objects present new challenges for curators and conservators:
How do you maintain code? Code is more fragile than porcelain. You know, people don't realize how complicated it is to preserve code — and also the legal issues.…

In order to acquire a videogame for the kind of long-term responsibility that MoMA is used to having, it means really creating a relationship with the creator. So it's about changing the end user license agreement. And it's not that easy, there's a lot of resistance, because the normal EULA allows the producer to revoke the license at any moment.

We cannot let that happen. It's as if we had a Picasso that could be taken back at any time.

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Posted in: Design of Business | Business of Design

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