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  • Sublime Gadgets

Auger, James, 2012, Show, Exhibition or Event, Sublime Gadgets

Abstract or Description:

This was a solo show commissioned from design partners Auger-Loizeau comprising seven new artefacts. The motivation behind the project was to expose the dubious role of gadgets in contemporary life – examples of conspicuous consumption, the principal discernible function of which is to provide spectacle and titillation by exploiting the latest technological innovations. Once the spectacle becomes familiar, the gadget loses its value – they thus exist as highly ephemeral objects at a time when there is an increased awareness of the need for more sustainable approaches to consumption (Harrison et al. 2005, Barnett et al. 2010).
By harnessing the notion of the romantic sublime combined with irony, ‘Sublime Gadgets’ aims to encourage contemplation on these observations by significantly expanding the lifespan of the gadget. This Sublime has been extensively explored in philosophy, literature and the fine arts. Here, Auger employs its ability to inspire awe and wonder within the domain of domestic products, instilling new values and interactions, aiming to concretise ‘pleasures of the imagination’ (Addison); the infinity of time and space (Shaftesbury); agreeable kinds of horror (Addison); and randomness found in nature and the management of life and death. The artefacts include a device designed to record and display the Moon’s divergence from the Earth (3.8cm per year), a device committed to the relentless task of counting ripples on a lake and a device that displays information, provided by NASA and other agencies, about potentially hazardous asteroids.
The project was featured in TAR magazine (2013) and was exhibited at the ‘Science Art 3 Exhibition’ in Moscow (2013).

Subjects: Creative Arts and Design > W200 Design studies
School or Centre: School of Design
Date Deposited: 03 Nov 2013 15:31
Last Modified: 27 Jan 2014 11:09
URI: http://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1510

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