Dear Andy Warhol, please move your famous can of Campbell’s tomato soup to make room for the humble and mundane @ symbol in the NYC Museum of Modern Art (MOMA).
Indeed, senior curator Paola Antonelli has confirmed that the now ubiquitous @ symbol will now be proudly displayed in the museum’s rather extensive collection of modern art galleries.
“Just like other objects in the collection, we will show it in our galleries on a rotating basis, in thematic or chronologic displays,” Antonelli told the NY Daily News.
“[Although the] acquisition is conceptual rather than physical, we let our public know that @ is a great example of design, re-use, sustainability [and] elegance by placing it on the wall next to other great design examples and by telling its story in the label, as we do for other objects in the collection.”
Meanwhile, Bruce Nussbaum of Business Week reacted to the news by labeling the virtual acquisition a “breakthrough” act.
“We increasingly live in a digital world, of nonstuff. Yet, it is real to us,” opined Nussbaum.
“Bringing @ into MOMA is a statement that you no longer have to have a physical object to highlight it’s importance. You can tag it.”
And we just did.