Gadgets are the most ephemeral of domestic objects. Their dazzling but fleeting existence is a consequence of two combined factors:
1: The value of a gadget is found in its novelty and ability to provide spectacle.
2: This novelty is provided by the latest technological innovations.
Arthur C. Clarke’s often quoted 3rd law describes the relationship between these points:
“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”
It is in this magical
element that the spectacle resides but as a consequence it follows that just as the illusion dies when the magician reveals his slight of hand, so the technology becomes distinguishable from magic when it becomes familiar. This normalising of technology leads to the death of the gadget.
aims expand the lifespan of these ephemeral objects through introducing notions of the romantic sublime. This shifts the focus away from technological fetishism towards objectifying ‘pleasures of the imagination’ (Addison), the infinity of time and space (Shaftesbury), agreeable kinds of horror (Addison), randomness found in nature and the management of life and death.
We have built seven working prototypes:
Exhibition commissioned and curated by Alexandra Midal for the Design Project Room, HAUTE ÉCOLE D’ART ET DE DESIGN – GENÈVE
GENEVA UNIVERSITY OF ART AND DESIGN
All images ©Baptiste Coulon 2012.