Post-digital is a confusing phrase. It’s hard to know what people mean when they throw it around—are we done with digital? What does digital even mean anymore? The definition is blurry. But to Ron Labaco, post-digital is less about a definition than it is about a mindset. Labaco, a curator at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, has put together a massive exhibition of digitally fabricated works from 2005 to present day for the recently opened Out of Hand: Materializing the Postdigital.
The collection of more than 100 works is a comprehensive survey of design pieces and works of art that illustrate Labaco’s point—which is that over the past decade, there’s been a shift in the way that we talk and think about digital fabrication. Meaning, as technology becomes more ingrained in our daily lives, we’re moving away from a preoccupation with the technology itself into discussions about how it can be used and applied. In other words, we’ve entered the post-digital era. “These technologies are now being utilized as tools,” Labaco explains. “So it’s part of the toolkit as much as a chisel or as much as a paintbrush.”
Possibilities all around us, ever expanding.