On Mobile Crash

Symposium:


Session Title:

  • Latin American Forum IV: Current Media Art Practice / Artist Presentations

Presentation Title:

  • On Mobile Crash

Presenter(s):



Abstract:

  • It has been said, it is a common place: new trends in portable devices boost not only consumerism but also a fetishization on owning products that not long ago we did not notice we needed them. The hype on mobility overrides real needs and drives endless releases of phone models promising features expensively charged by local carriers or that would never work as expected.

    Motorola and LG have launched more than 150 cellular phone models each in the last 6 years. Samsung has released more than 300 in the same period of time. Most of these products will not stay on the market for long but produce a definitive, instant desire on the customers, due to their latest features. With a slightly different strategy Apple has launched just 3 iPhone models so far, but is taking vast advantage of such predisposition of consuming. For its 4G model (out on June 24) Apple is expecting to sell no less than 20 millions of units until the end of the year.

    This reminds me of Bruce Sterling’s speech at ISEA Montreal, back in 1995. After mentioning the technological rhetoric present in the 90’s culture, he took his brand new PowerBook to compare how little such device would last compared to its source reference, saying that even the cheapest paperback book would outlive his machine quite easily.

    Full text (PDF) p.  437-439

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