Office for the development of Substitute Materials

3:2 An experiment in time travel. Subject lived in isolation for three weeks adjusting to a slow clock, experiencing only two weeks 2008

3:2 An experiment in time travel. Subject lived in isolation for three weeks adjusting to a slow clock, experiencing only two weeks 2008

Continuing my Rhizome Commissions coverage, here is Office for the development of Substitute Materials. Their work deals in the relationship between objects and how humans use them, or how objects become more human just because we are using them. The ideas about tools and their relationships to us and each other is incredibly smart but at the same time, attainable in their simplicity. The way they document their work is also very beautiful. I’m a big fan. You can see their Rhizome proposal after the jump (it’s the last item in the post).

Remember. Automated Memory device using flashbulbs to leave retinal afterimages 2007

The Olfactograph. Machine to record subtle odors, storing them in glass jars for the activation of olfactory memories. 2007

The Vertical Bed. Device allowing user to sleep in a standing position (watch video) 2008

The Vertical Bed. Device allowing user to sleep in a standing position (watch video) 2008

Alvin. Electronic simulation of a brain using speakers, electromgnets, and metal powder to grow circuits.

Alvin. Electronic simulation of a brain using speakers, electromgnets, and metal powder to grow circuits.

“Immaculate telegraphy” (Rhizome Grant Proposal):

Immaculate telegraphy

Immaculate telegraphy seeks to test if electronic communication could have occurred at any point in history given the knowledge base and desire. The project is crafted through an attempt to create an electronic technology from scratch in the wilderness, armed with no modern tools except information from the Internet. In a first step towards a new electronic information network, detached from the physical legacy of industry, my efforts will follow an accelerated timeline of human technology, beginning necessarily in Paleolithic techniques, and arriving at a voltage-producing battery and a telegraph switch, which will permit active electronic communication. Forgoing all tools and materials produced by the artifact legacy we are a part of, I will be attempting to build the voltaic pile battery and telegraph key from metals smelted out of handpicked ore in a primitive pit furnace…of course, a laborious telegraph is a far cry from the semiconductors, transmission networks and protocols of our Internet, but the project seeks to suggest that there is a transcendence to information availability, and that individuals at any time could reconnect and maintain such availability, regardless of the state of industry at large.


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