With the unveiling of Apple's iPhone 6, the world with change. Sure it comes in new sizes 5.5 and 4.7 inches, boast a thinner yet more round curvaceous figure, but now technology and body become one. Like the Jawbone and the Pebble Smartwatch, Apple will assist mankind in monitoring their health and fitness via the iPhone as well as their newest product the iWatch. It is crazy to think it wasn't until 1983 that the cell phones hit the market and that Apple has sold more iPhones than all of their other products combined. Soon enough it will be computer chip fingernails and contact lenses.
It is estimated that the average user checks their cell phone 110 times a day and up to every 6 second in the evening. These statistic estimate the heaviest of user to unlock their phones 900 times a day, equaling to approximately 18 hours total. Obviously these numbers will continue to increase, where like Apple technology companies will have a heavy influence in how we spend our time. If in fact the average user checks their phone 110 times, say each time for a 1 minimum or maximum minute, this closely constitutes to 2 hours of staring at you phone everyday. Why do we do this to ourselves? Is that we've finally found the perfect device to fill idle time? Is that our world has expanded so much that we have to know everything that is going on all the time with everyone. We certainly don't just live in a bubble anymore, which is both a positive and negative. It is absolutely astonishing to ponder how previous generations got along without cell phones; meeting friends, navigating roads, finding entertainment, etc.
A hefty percentage of the developed world considers their cell phone to be their greatest asset. Not that it is in fact their most valuable possession, in comparison to social capital (family & friends), economic capital (money & investments), and cultural capital (knowledge & education). It is that the cell phone, provides us with all of Pierre Bourdieu's Theories of Capital. The iPhone constitutes as wealth, connection for friends and family, and access to the world wide web filled with wisdom.
But we as human beings have an innate desire to decorate and personalize everything, including this device. As if an iPhone doesn't already resonate economic capital, you can adorn it with rhinestones cases, charms, animal covers, and so much more. There is even an minute lava lamp and living plant you can dangle from your earphone outlet. So what's next a miniature goldfish or hermit crab? I mean if you're wasting 18+ hours a day on your iPhone it may as well make it part of you, cover it in sparkles, gems, cartoon characters, fake fruit and ice cream, as well as poetic sentiments. You can have anything bejazzled on the outside of your phone from My Little Pony to Donald Duck. Sure these case are rather large, but think of it as a statement piece that will either look like a tumor or hard-on poking out of your skinny jean's will never fit in your Chanel purse. Take notes from Kris Jenner's and her case that says "Queen of Fucking Everything," just make sure you realize the duel implications associate. Is she the Queen or does she just fuck everything, maybe even her cellphone?
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.