The direction for this installation has gotten me thinking about what it is I want to showcase in this work. Originally the idea I wanted to tangle with, was the notion that technology goes back and forth in iteration, in design, in trends and in functionality. I like the idea that the departure point for this last project was “futures”, and my immediate response was to showcase something that’s framed in the past. I think this is the basis of the work I want to display.
As non-human object, the technological devices we carry everyday constantly run at a pace determined by us. That, meaning they’re only function is determined by our use of them. Autonomy within them are seemingly not far away with the small increments being added to smartphones, however we can still choose most of their function. The thing that is seemingly out of our control though now is the way they’re manufactured to be replaced by the next evolution of the same thing. This leads most to expect another criticism of Apple, however I want to go perhaps a little more broad with examples like the Record – MixTape – CD – MP3 evolution. Or the Film – VHS – DVD – Streaming trajectory of technology that include perhaps require a whole new hardware component to access content. Without discouraging the thought of this, nowadays this seems to have come t a relatively smaller halt, but the upgrades coming WITHIN the device, as a software update.
Consumers now are faced with a device that is in perfectly fine working order, in that it turns on, runs and connects them to content at a leisure. However to gain more or perhaps the most recent available services, the individual must update the device. NOTE: I’m going to be using the smart phone/tablet for this example as it is the most relatable for me. Once the software is updated, the phone has basically been given a no returns sentence. The update is designed to target newer app downloads, but also “laggs” the phone, decreases its swift functionality and tells the story of the device ultimately needing an upgrade.
Something this week that I want to explore is perhaps the trail effect or reckless understanding we have of this. Using the devices from my past, as a reminder of how much this trend of keeping updated and connected, leads to a media archeology of functioning devices that are tossed aside. Perhaps we wish we could stick to the one mobile phone or the one DVD player, but industry doesn’t allow us to. There’s possibility for batteries in devices to last 3 weeks, however corporate bosses don’t allow this to happen. Is there humanity to these devices that ultimately leads to its era ending?