It's safe to assume most people have an affinity for bubble wrap, even the deepest diehard environmentalist anti-plastic aficionado has found satisfaction in popping a bubble or two. Whether a simple snap, stepping, dancing, or rolling your desk chair over the bubbles, this is wildly fun.
Similar to the Scratch-N-Sniff technology, bubble wrap devised as a form of 3D wall paper by Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in 1957. Although never fully realized as decor, bubble wrap was branded as a packing material. The bubbles insulate fragile items by absorbing shock and vibration. There is such an affinity for the material that Bubble Wrap appreciation day has been declared on the last Monday of January.
Given the public's love affair of this material, bubble wrap has expanded into the digital realm. It is safe to say that virtual bubble wrap completely defeats the sole purpose of bubble wrap,thus undermining the physical material in the form of downloadable apps and websites. Bubble wrap simulators allow you to enjoy the popping of virtual bubbles to relieve stress. Bltz Pop allows enables you to see how many bubbles you can pop in one minute, Pop 500 allows you to see how fast you can pop 500 bubbles, and Pop All allow you to see how long it takes you to pop an entire sheet of 2000 bubbles. "Tired of all those bubble popping apps…" Bubble Run claims, while Pop the Bubbles Pro HD claims to provide "the satisfying sensation of popping bubble without the mess or feeling of remorse." Guilty conscience? Well apparently with the overwhelming number of bubble wrap simulators everyone has the opportunity to waste time, develop carpal tunnel and computer vision syndrome, without ever having to acquire actual bubble wrap.
100 Objects of Popular and Material Culture is an blog exploring the manifestations of human consumption and commodity-ization. The purpose of this experiment is to explore material and popular culture in contemporary society by using objects and concepts to prompt wider questions and reflections. So by emulating The British Museum's and Neil MacGregor's format of A History of the World in 100 Objects I plan to satirically analyze and reinterpreted 100 material culture objects over the course of 2014. Material Culture is the study of our culture's consumption of stuff; namely the manifestation of culture through material productions where people's perceptions of objects is socially and culturally dependent. With this, objects reflect conscious and unconscious beliefs on the the individuals who fabricated, purchased, or used them, and by extension the society where they live. So examining materiality, cultural truths and societal assumptions may be discovered. As anthropologist Arjun Appaduai states "in any society the individual is often caught between the cultural structure of commodity-ization and his own personal attempts to bring a value and order to the universe of things." Objects and commodities make up a much larger symbolic system consisting of want and need, socio-economic status, fashion, etc. Often times form follows function whether the commodity, market, and or consumer forever evolve around one-another. Philosopher Pierre Bourdieu's theories of capital flow full circle; where regardless if you are a minimalist or a hoarder the world is made up of things and everyone will leave their footprint on the earth. So by humorously analyzing marketed objects and concepts, hopefully this blog will provide further incite into ideas of over-consumption, a disposable society, consumerism vs. anti-consumers, planned obsolescence vs. sustainability, as well as the greater good of mankind and future generations.