Part I – Beginning, end
All objects spend their lives doing what they were made to do. But eventually these objects fail, they break and stop working, they expire. Yes maybe you can use the object for something else, or replenish the batteries, but what I’m more interested in is that they change. Their once sole purpose in our lives, gone. Or is it?
Why don’t treat objects or products that we own as though they are living things?
What if we did treat them with such compassion?
What if they evolved or grew as we did?
Would this forge a connection with an object or product that may have been looked through otherwise?
These are some of the questions I have been asking myself since a lamp I was making evolved into something much more captivating.
Part II – Breathe
At this current time, I’m working in Barcelona, exploring material uses for lamps, furniture and installations. One project we’ve been working on is ‘Dipping Lamps’ – using white globes, we dip them into paint multiple times, creating different layers of coloured opacity from the paint overlapping. The leftover paint then sets like silicon within 24 hours of being made.
Why waste the paint? Why not do something with it? … I had an idea to take the bucket of paint and make a lamp using a glass jar. The result worked well, the paint set around the jar and I was able to flip it over. It seemed like it could work.
I knew that the paint was prone to cracking once dried, but I still wanted to see if it was possible… A week went by and like expected it cracked, but beyond the extent I had predicted. The best way I could describe it would be when the bottom of a lake dries up and the top layer cracks open.
Soft smooth surface,
Blue toned cracks,
Part III – Expired
Not only did this transformation alter the way it looked, but also changed the amount and direction of light that was being spread. This week long evolving lamp now shone through the cracks, as well as below.
This got me thinking, what if I made a deliberate choice, during the process of designing and making an object, to give it an expiry date. What if you knew this object was going to evolve, mould, modify, reform, reshape, and change the way it works and looks over a noticeable period of time. Would that add more value to the object?
I could make :
[one day] objects,
[1 week] objects,
[1 month] objects,
[1 year] objects.
You could have objects that lasted for as long as you lived. They are born when you are born, live, grow and eventually decease when you do. Your own little object companion, (wo)man’s best friend. It could grow little hairs, like those grass seed soil tight puppets you used to make as a kid. Think about how you connected with that little grassy being, feeding it, nurturing it, trimming its little hedgehog hairs when they got too long. That was love, that was companionship.
There’s something nice about an object that you know is going to expire, because not only will it change its form or function, but it may change the way you see it, it may just bring you closer to something that is just as alive as you are.
I will leave you with this statement written by Palle Oswald and adapted by Charlie Boyden – “If to live is to die, then to die is to alter your state of being and live on”.