As the iPhone and iPod Touch become more saturated into a population of people who never would have used their phones for anything other than making calls, it seems as if the chance for artists to create new work for the devices is becoming more commonplace and accepted. Even commenters in the AppStore have good things to say about art showing up in this context. One person said this of Snibbe's Antograph, "These apps are amazing and point the direction for the future of art, science, and technology. Soon these "ants" will be making music, operating on people, and stopping oil well leaks. What a great time to be alive." Another commenter hinted at the seemingly non-purpose of the Vanitas app, but how the design was still compelling enough for multiple visits, "Make no mistake, Vanitas is not a game even though it's made by a "game" company. There is no goal, no discernible narrative so - what is it? It's interactive entertainment. I found it terribly addicting." Maybe these forms of contemplative apps made by artists is exactly what is needed to change the driving force of the App Store and the ways in which mobile apps are marketed in the first place. Despite the rhetoric of Apple controlling access to its store and the apps featured there, overall, the mobile platform of the iPhone has begun to enable artists to get inspired to both revisit their old screen-based work and discover new forms of interactivity that these new platforms now enable.
By Jonah Brucker-Cohen