Yuri Pattison, transparency, hybrid viscosity (communal table v.0.1), 2016
This video work depicts a 3D rendering of a replica Eames DSR chair as a component part of a larger sculptural work. In this footage, we see a version of the classic design that was never officially authorized by either Herman Miller, the original retailer of Eames’s furniture, or Vitra, the co-licensor. We know this as it is a transparent ‘ghost’ version of the design, that sits squarely outside of the official canon of Eames’s products. The image is rendered to depict the chair in a dark room, with pulsating spotlights illuminating the transparency of the moulded plastic; the very feature that distinguishes it as a non-canon replica. Within the larger installation, real versions of these non-authorized chairs are situated around a co-working table, synonymous with the digital economies and their environments emerging over the past decade or so; co-working spaces, the hot desk office, laptop cafe, tech incubators, etc. The transparency of the chairs mirrors the ethos of ‘transparency’ and ‘flexibility’ that these so called ‘counter-corporate’ spaces espouse when, in fact, they also disingenuously inscribe workers inside a more panoptic culture of self-policing and competitive productivity. The irony and paradox at the heart of these spaces are also mirrored in the chairs themselves. Eames desired their work to be accessible, socially conscious products, and the newly affordable, mass availability of their work, through the ‘copy’, simultaneously endangers the efforts of Vitra to enshrine Eames ‘originals’ within the canon of good taste, while also, in no small way, reifies their fundamental principle of socially committed design. While the hard materiality of this is evident in the installation, the video further emphasizes the paradox. In the video, the ultra-realistic rendering of the chair suddenly, without warning, melts. The non-canon, clear moulded plastic seat appears fluid like water and falls to an unstructured mess on the ground, leaving the iconic bent steel frame standing. This too evaporates into a liquified mess on the ground, vanishing the object entirely. This unexpected turn seems to underscore the temporary, disposable and trend-driven nature of our digital economies.
|Medium||Dexion Slotted Angle, Eames DSR style replica chair (s), acrylic, protective film, Raspberry Pi model 3, USB stick, cabling, cable ties, USB power supply, fan, video content, Harris Citrus Infused Polythene Dust Sheet. Dimensions variable|
|Duration||8 minutes and 36 seconds, Installation: dimensions variable|
|Edition||of 3 + 2 APs|