I found this beautiful website of the “Universität der Künste in Berlin”. It features some of the most interesting gadgets I have seen in years. If only they would be available. Two fine examples include:
The Charming Burka deals with Freud’s idea that all clothes can be positioned between appeal and shame. The Burka was chosen, because it is often perceived in the west as a symbol of repression. A digital layer was added so that women can decide for themselves where they want to position themselves virtually. The Burka sends an image, chosen by the wearer, via Bluetooth technology. Every person next to her can receive her picture via mobile phone and see the women’s self-determined identity. In the artists interpretation the virtual appeals can not be gathered by the laws of the Koran and so the Charming Burka fulfills the desire of living a more western life, which some Muslim women have today.
Therefore the Burka is equipped with bluetooth antenna/micro-controller and uses the OBEX protocol, already working with most mobile phones.
The Vanity Ring:
While in earlier times richness and importance were equal to the amount of money or jewels someone possessed, in a post information society it’s the attention you get from the worlds people, that counts. Being in people’s mind means being important, whether they think about you in a positive way our not doesn’t matter. And what people have in their mind is what they read in the media. In the future this will mean, what they read/see on the net. Every content creator that copies and pastes your name will rise the value of your virtual mirrored importance. And there is a hard mechanical algorithm on the net, that extremely objectively measures your appearance, it’s called Google and has already passed the “line of no return” (Bruce Sterling). In most job interviews the personnel manager will already use this machine to check your importance and have a look at the first answers this mirror tells about you. Your mirror identity strikes back on your chances in the real world.