Ready-mades and UX buttons

There is a scene in the movie Con-Air, where John Malkovich explains his escape strategy to his troop of convicts with a makeshift maquette of their improvised battlefield. Each piece inside meant something: this is the boneyard, this is our plane, and so on. At the end of his explanation, however, one of the convicts ask for one of the elements in the model. “What is that?”. Malkovich look at him, kind of baffled, answering: “that? that is a rock.”
This scene is interesting because it talks to us about what is or should be- meaningful and what is not, and how can we tell if something is meant to be interpreted -or not -in a specific context. Think of the pile of trash in the gallery, a trope so usual from time to time in the art magazines around the world, that is now a cliche of contemporary art.
Like some programming codes, that are “object-oriented”, art has for long been "object-oriented" as well, as an object, produced with a mix of skill and knowledge, is unique, irreplaceable; such object has an aura, in terms of Walter Benjamin, which makes it special and treasurable. Then, after mechanical reproduction, it was possible to copy this object once and again, and the aura it had, now it hasn’t. But then, if not the object, is the idea the vehicle of art, and the concept as well. (Must be said, that even then, the art professionals recommend for such types of art, the importance of, above all, documentation; that is, tangibility. Even art then cannot escape to the materiality of its (our) nature.) Therefore, much of the practice of contemporary art has been in the border between visual arts and other arts such as literature, mixing and dissolving boundaries and this has created a lot of misunderstandings in the values for appreciation of such pieces, making the evaluation of a literary-like piece by means of visual categories a predictable clash of meaning-making contexts.
But then, one of many thematic threads in modern art has been the denial of the author as an evident factor in the artwork itself, trying to dissolve the idea of an individual physical impulse in search of a further and more in-depth understanding of reality or a different approach to the act of creation. By disregarding this facet of the idea of expression, it also affects the idea of intentionality, and therefore the recognition of that intentionality by discrimination against the unintentional, namely the routine and the normal.
The fact, stated in other cases, that an object, just by the declared intention of the artist, becomes a piece of intentionality, bring as a result, that some pieces -to put a name to a fluid format- just acquire meaning by being in the meaning-maker context of the white cube building of the gallery.
User experience and user interface design are all about intentionality; we want you to press this button, we want you to use this coffee machine like this. In exchange for following the instructions, the user gets what he wants, allegedly. Cash in the atm, coffee in the office, the ticket he was looking for. For that, uses affordances, signals, blinks to the user to be easily decoded. For that, it avoids ambiguity and gives context. Maybe, in denying this process, the type of art that fuses the intentional with the unintentional close itself to the wider public. The design of user interfaces in the context of user experience works with perception and also with behavioural psychology: it is, in the words of Don Norman, emotional design. But designed to be effective. Do we want art to be effective? How ambiguous we want it to be? Is art for posterity? For the initiated? For the market?
Think of a future archaeologist looking among the ruins of our civilisation, and think how can he discriminate what was considered or not an object of art, and why?. Is the gallery the new sacred space of our days?. Should still be it in the times of social media? Is social media (always perfecting its UX interfaces and interactions, highlighting intentionalities and affordances) to the galleries, what the printed Bibles were to the monasteries- with their painstakingly amassed depositories of manuscripts- and cathedrals- with their storied multigenerational architecture- at the end of the Middle Age?