Former Talking Heads singer turned artist David Byrne has created fake screenshots and descriptions of several shocking nonexistent iPhone apps for an art exhibit entitled “Social Media,” BoingBoing reports.
Running September 16-October 15th at the 510 West 25th St. location of New York’s The Pace Gallery, featured examples include satirical text-adding application Weaselface and Childster, which “turns your phone into a babysitter.” Other selections include the likes of Invisible Me, capable of automatically replying to email and text messages from friends and coworkers in sexy, aggravated or terse tones, and at varying lengths of response.
The show’s creators bill it as “an exhibition investigating the ways in which contemporary artists approach public platforms of communication and social networks through an aesthetic and conceptual lens.” Purporting to explore social media’s growing ramification on everyday life, the event, which also features contributions by Jonathan Harris, Miranda July and Christopher Baker, appears more ready excuse to poke fun at modern values, however.
Byrne’s works, for example, crafted in the likeness of App Store catalogue pages, replace product features with thinly-veiled critiques of contemporary culture and sly social commentary disguised in the form of witty one-liners. While some may discount selling points such as “libel check – makes sure you can’t be sued” as ham-fisted attempts at humor, Childster’s “separate alarms for Mom and Dad” cut disturbingly close to the quick. As the parodies remind, for millions of adults, today’s version of “Stay Up Late” simply involves plopping kids in front of a screen then merrily jaunting off to kill time themselves on Facebook.