April, 2009

Obscure Design Typologies: Life Guard Chairs

Another in an occasional series exploring design typologies. (Previously: a survey of Lightships here)

Osama bin Laden Cigarette Lighter: Novelty Products as Congealed Culture

What can you say about a cigarette lighter that projects an image of Osama bin Laden? Except, that it provides more evidence that novelty products are the place where the most frightening conceptions of culture coalesce. Forget Milan and its multiple takes on what we would like to be. It’s objects from the periphery where […]

Absurd Car Crashes: A Eulogy for J.G. Ballard

I’ve no idea what this piece of video is, where it came from, or what it’s for. But it seems an appropriate eulogy for J.G. Ballard, perhaps the only Briton who really understood modernity.

Candy Pistol

Perhaps the most disquieting development in the candy novelty world is the ‘Candy Pistol’. You place the barrel between your lips and pull the trigger to fire a candy bullet into your mouth. (These photos show a spontaneous quasi-performance piece that could have been titled ‘Candy Darling’ at the Lisson Gallery.) ]]>

Now Showing: Dan Grahams ‘Rock My Religion’

via Rock My Religion (1982-84) 1982-84, 55:27 min, b&w and color, sound Rock My Religion is a provocative thesis on the relation between religion and rock music in contemporary culture. Graham formulates a history that begins with the Shakers, an early religious community who practiced self-denial and ecstatic trance dances. With the “reeling and rocking” […]