08.02.11

Julia Roberts, Eat Your Heart Out

Sascha Nordmeyer’s prosthetic grimace resists too much glib interaction. By Blake Gopnik.

The image of a “prosthetic grimace” is by Sascha Nordmeyer, in “Talk to Me,” the big show of interactive design now at the Museum of Modern Art. Overall, the show felt like it encouraged an unthinking embrace of “futuristic” technology, as though we were back at a 1950s World’s Fair. The “interactions” encouraged by the objects on display sometimes didn’t seem aimed at anything other than interaction–for its own sake and to show off its maker’s technological chops. That’s why I especially liked Nordmeyer’s red lips. They were conceived, the artist says, “for people who are insecure about their appearance and their social skills, and therefore feel compelled to seem excessively smart and communicative in every circumstance.” They push back against useless, glib interaction and encourage their users to make every word and look count.

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