A tablet computer is installed in a dark booth.
A tissue box and a bottle of screen disinfectant are presented on a board next to the entrance.
Visitors are invited to enter the booth, disinfect the tablet, and lick the screen.
Through continuous licking the screen gradually lights up.
The face of the user becomes increasingly illuminated.
The work ends when maximum luminosity has been reached, or when the user gives up.
Instead of using mobile technology to harvest extensive user data, process complex algorithms and exploit network connectivity, FETISH reduces the iPad to an electric light. Following McLuhan, the device is transformed into a medium without contents, controlled by a fetishistic action, both in the Freudian and the Marxist sense of the word.
"The meaning of the fetish is not known to other people, so the fetish is not withheld from him: it is easily accessible and he can readily obtain the sexual satisfaction attached to it. What other men have to woo and make exertions for can be had by the fetishist with no trouble at all." Sigmund Freud (1927)
"Fetishism of commodities has its origin [...] in the peculiar social character of the labour that produces them [...] It is [the] ultimate money form of the world of commodities that actually conceals, instead of disclosing, the social character of private labour, and the social relations between the individual producers." Karl Marx (1867)
"The electric light is pure information. It is a medium without message, as it were, unless it is used to spell out some verbal ad or name. This fact, characteristic of all media, means that the contents of a medium is always another medium. [The] psychic and social consequences of [its] design or patterns [...] alter or accelerate existing processes." Marshall McLuhan (1964)
Camera: Alexia Manzano