Contemporary art, architecture, and design can take on unexpected manifestations, from digital codes to Internet addresses and sets of instructions that can be transmitted only by the artist.
In 1967, American electrical engineer Ray Tomlinson joined the technology company of Bolt Beranek and Newman (BBN), where he created the world’s first e-mail system a few years later, in 1971, using a Model KSR 33 Teletype device. The appropriation and reuse of a pre-existing, even ancient symbol—a symbol already available on the keyboard yet vastly underutilized, a ligature meant to resolve a functional issue (excessively long and convoluted programming language) brought on by a revolutionary technological innovation (the Internet)—is by all means an act of design of extraordinary elegance and economy. A big difference between the two pieces is the price, which brings to an extreme the evanescent difference between art and design. We have acquired the design act in itself and as we will feature it in different typefaces, we will note each time the specific typeface as if we were indicating the materials that a physical object is made of. Anyway, I have always cherished this trilingual version of events (true or not) with little volition. I’m sure this money used for this project could have been used to acquisition of actual artwork instead of a stupid symbol.
MoMA, I hope you will use your new acquisition precendent as selectively as the rest of your acquisitions.
As always, your articulation of the Art bring it to life and makes it accessible to a broader audience. Model 33s are still quite common, and Amateur Radio fans keep them in service on many repeaters. Have they also acquired the letter ‘e’ as I believe that is in regular modern usage too? You’re right Ender and AJP Crown, Norwegians call it an alfakroll, not a pig’s tail, thanks for that, it has been corrected in our post.
It emphatically does not, however, create space for genders outside the traditional binary.
Maybe at the Museum of Natural History this type of symbol would find a home, but not at the MoMA!
Next thing you know the MoMA will be having an exhibit of Sumerian text or Egyptian hieroglyphics and then what would this country come to! Aside from the singular preposterous and presumptuous nature of the entire ordeal, and with the understanding that I believe a show on the subject would be both interesting and relevant, I feel that there are a few subsequent issues here that deserve particular attention. Initially, I am in accordance with everyone who has inquired something to the degree of: how did the MoMA acquire what they essentially now claim to own?
Referring to typefaces solely as a medium through which an action of design, in the most semantic sense, is represented, comes dangerously close to slighting those who actually engage in the action of designing them. It seems that your progressive thinking may merely be a thinly guised attempt to pay less for what you exhibit. The value of the ensuing discussion, perhaps like the work itself, and perhaps also embedded in the work, is invaluable. This opens the door for entrepreneurial cyber-curators to acquire whatever they please, including, perhaps, MOMA. But if you must persist with this silliness, might I suggest you next “acquire” the left and right parentheses? Following MOMA’s lead, the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science at Albion College has acquired the Greek letter pi.

I doff my cap to this promotional stunt, even if the intellectual irony passes somewhat above my head.
But hey, if you only “get” even a fraction of what goes on at the MoMA then you are probably doing a lot better than most. It reminds me a bit of that scene in the film “Midnight Cowboy” where Ratso Rizzo is asked why he is stealing the party food when it was free, to which he replies: “Well, if it’s free, then I ain’t stealin’. Now I’m off to tag a Boeing 747, a few orbiting satellites, and a whole bunch of smilies for my own museum … you know, the one that only exists in the world of my imagination. In a free market place, the acquisition of the goods offered to potential purchasers is characterized by the fact that, on the assumption that the purchasers have the means to effectuate a given purchase, all the purchasers are in principle on equal footing.
If I were to tell my friends that I have just acquired the dollar sign or one of the signs used for the mathematical concept of a derivative, they would at least roll their eyes, if not laugh out loud or wonder whether I am well. As such, the acquisition in question is not an acquisition in the ordinary sense of the word (a point already made in the above thread, albeit with apologetic intent), but rather an appropriation, a predatory act only made possible by the fact that MoMA is a world renowned institution, with the powers that accrue to such an institution. What the larger implications of such an act are, in my view at least, I shall leave for another forum.
The artistic value an item must hold to be part of a collection is for the curators and, ultimately, the museum to decide.
And MoMA can get away with it, because they’ve established themselves as among the best at honoring the beauty of design by humans.
So that means the AT-AT's in the movie are moving a little more than 1 foot-length per 4 seconds. Star Wars Technical Commentaries - Lots of detail on the walkers (dunno where he pulls that "10 meter stride" from, but otherwise, pretty accurate info. Blueprints - Great collection of blueprints, appears to be retraced from The Essential Guide.
The process by which such unconventional works are selected and acquired for our collection can take surprising turns as well, as can the mode in which they’re eventually appreciated by our audiences. The symbol persisted in sixteenth-century Venetian trade, where it was used to mean amphora, a standard-size terracotta vessel employed by merchants, which had become a unit of measure. From this point on the symbol itself was standardized both stylistically and in its application, and it appeared in the original 1963 ASCII (American Standard Code for Information Interchange) list of computer codes. By October, Tomlinson had rediscovered and appropriated it, imbuing it with new meaning and elevating it to defining symbol of the computer age.
His (unintended) role as a designer must be acknowledged and celebrated by the one collection—MoMA’s—that has always celebrated elegance, economy, intellectual transparency, and a sense of the possible future directions that are embedded in the arts of our time, the essence of modern. I hope that the MoMA applies their new-found metaphysical stance to curatorial ethics and practices, as they most certainly should properly credit the foundries and designers for their every contribution to the upcoming show.
Our alphabet is a set of phonetic signs that are public in character; they are part of the common good and belong to no one.
And the inmaterial things that we cannot buy can be any letter of the language, or the streets, public places, wether may be is more modern to say that we cannot by the wether.
The Museum did not acquire a physical object, intellectual property rights to the symbol, nor did it pay anyone to acquire it.
Its much more interesting to release free content than to acquire an insubstantial nothing.

It reminds me of when I was a creative director in an advertising agency, and my boss, who had his name on the shingle, used to say, during presentations to clients. For instance, the character uni+0040 may be represented by many different glyphs, a different one in each different font.
If you like, you can visit it someday too … but first you must find a Golden Ticket hidden inside the wrapper of an oversized chocolate bar…. In other words, and to take the example of art works, if I have the requisite amount of money, I may in principle acquire a given work no less than, say, an institution such as MoMA.
These perfectly legitimate and healthy reactions of theirs indicate that something is amiss in my statement and the alleged action it describes (acquiring a piece of the common good). Yes, it should be in the Smithsonian to commemorate its history, but Not MOMA… it degrades the value of all of the other real, relevant art. The Iconathon is a month-long initiative to collaboratively design new civic symbols for the public domain. The same criteria of quality, relevance, and overall excellence shared by all objects in MoMA’s collection also apply to these entities. Department of Defense to help in the development of ARPAnet, an early network from which the Internet later emerged.
It has truly become a way of expressing society’s changing technological and social relationships, expressing new forms of behavior and interaction in a new world. Similar efforts have been successful in the corporate world by companies such as T-Mobile who, through arguably dubious and indubitably odd legal measures, effectively owns the color magenta. These artisans and aficionados purposefully apply critical thinking, practical application and effectual aesthetic choices to the elemental, intangible and readily available symbols that the museum is claiming to celebrate and they thus in no way deserve to be made comparable to a tool in a conceptual tool box. These instances and those like them already have and continue to deserve very real, very serious critical attention as their implications and inferences possess staggering repercussive potential. It is as pointless as claiming that one has acquired the English alphabet or our set of signs for the natural numbers. These were repurposed by Ladislav Sutnar for Bell’s American area code system in the late 1950s. What is amiss, of course, is that I made a category mistake in treating a piece of the common good as if it were an item offered for acquisition in the market place (this, in fact, is not unlike the proverbial sale of the Brooklyn Bridge). Working with Douglas Engelbart on the whole program, Tomlinson was in particular responsible for the development of the sub-program that can send messages between computers on this network. He therefore consciously, and from the very start, established new rules and a new meaning for this symbol.
It was the first system able to send mail between users on different hosts connected to the ARPAnet, while previously mail could be sent only to hosts that used the same computer.
Our Conservators are currently formulating and implementing new strategies for the care of such works, encompassing everything from old fashioned paper-trail archiving and oral interviews to advanced digital code preservation and archiving.

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