Rudy, my four year old, is a huge fan of “daddy’s patterns“, so naturally he was the person I most wanted to accompany me on my visit to Decode, the V&A/onedotzero “Digital Design Sensations” exhibition.
Rudy, as part of the resident savvy child collective in our house, acts as my personal futurologist. The way he interacts with the world is the way the world will be when his generation is running it. Rudy fails to understand why all content isn’t on demand, why every screen is not a touchscreen, why his favourite media is not available on every device. And seeing him, after lapping up Decode, attempt to prod, wave at or talk to other inanimate exhibits around the rest of the V&A, I suspect he will now be questioning the relevance of any artwork that doesn’t involve, reflect or interact with the viewer.
Interaction; with our machines, objects, materials, environments, and each other, will soon become something that is simply expected. And anything that we can’t communicate with will have decreasing relevance over the coming decades. Those who snobbishly dismiss interactive art as being “something for kids” should remember that soon it will be these very same kids who will be making the decisions as to what is and isn’t art.