Icelandic singer Bjork’s Biophilia, which was the first-ever album app when released in 2011, has become the first app to be inducted into the New York Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection.
The museum’s department of architecture and design’s senior curator Paola Antonelli said that she first thought about including the album when it was released. She explained that it was just a year after the introduction of the iPad, and developers and designers were experimenting with apps on a gadget that had a larger screen than an iPhone.
She went on to say that with Bjork’s Biophilia, the Icelandic musician truly innovated how people can experience music as, all of a sudden, they were able to participate by making the visuals and music as well as performing instead of just “listening passively”.
In the Biophilia app, tracks were turned into a number of mini games, allowing listeners to interact with the album, whether it be by reworking the material or in a playful manner. Bjork brought in a series of developers, telling them that she wanted listeners to be able to “see the sounds”.
The Biophilia project has been so well received that it is now even been developed into an interactive learning programme – the Biophilia Educational Programme – that brings together science and music. The app joins a number of other items, including iPods and kitchen utensils, in the museum’s popular design collection.