Culture, Design, Tech

Building A Throwaway Society

In “Her” (2013), Theodore Twombly (played by Joaquin Phoenix), lives in a spacious bubble that has not much in it, other than his computer and V.R. gear.

Ian Svenonius writes in Jacobin that the Apple aesthetic of sleek and clean and minimal, nudges us to wipe out possessions from our lives.

The room of the modern person is stark, but in its simplicity, it exudes wealth and sophistication. There is just an iPad and a simple bed or a futon. None of the old-time accouterments, which signified intelligence, artistic interest, or a curiosity about the world, are evident. There are no magazines, books, or records anywhere. Just perhaps some high priced toiletries in the bathroom. Everything she needs is on the iCloud.

It’s a modernist monastery, where the religion is Apple itself.

Already, Apple has convinced us, he writes, that maps, paper, pens, even push buttons, are somehow “incredibly inconvenient and clumsy.”

Now, in ways subtle and not so subtle, it makes other stuff look like obsolete trumpery, and their owners, simpletons, who haven’t  yet discovered the miracle of technology.

[It] has turned the world upside down in making possessions a symbol of poverty, and having nothing, a signifier of wealth and power.

But Apple would’ve had a harder time propagating its philosophy had it not been for the silent collaboration of a dear ally, the Swedish flat-pack furniture maker, IKEA, the original, “I.” An Apple product sits well on an IKEA desk. They go together.



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