I once had a conversation with a very talented and very famous drummer which ended with him strongly believing that hearing was the most important sense, while I on the other hand believed it was sight. Irregardless we came to a consensus that our hands were the most vital in this battle of ear vs. eye, where we often take them for granted. I love my hands, maybe not their aesthetic, but I love that they can paint, draw, type, caress, and cook. It is with this that I feel their power fleeting. Opening a jar or water bottle first thing in the morning has become is problematic, although I discovered this camping during college. This disability has been coined as "Morning Hands." So with this let's celebrate our hands, all they can do, because it might not last forever.
Now that winter is upon us a commonly purchased item or items are gloves. Whether they're gift or for necessity, if you experience winter, you'll need them. They're are a million different types of gloves; leather gloves, suede gloves, etc. There are also so many types of gloves pertient to our existence such as medical gloves, those needed for cleaning rubber dish gloves, those needed for exercise or entertainment boxing gloves, baseball gloves, and last those needed as luxury and status symbols such as driving gloves.
It is certain that gloves were one of the first garments our ancestors created in order to battle the elements. Hiking across what is now known as Alaska into North America must have been freezing. Too bad they didn't have a pair of heated gloves, battery run with the price ranging from $200-$500. Sure these will keep you hands warm in the most extreme circumstances, but maybe that is false confidence when your legs and face become frost bitten. Now there is also HI Call a pair of gloves that adapt to you iPhone and mimic a fake mime-like telephone gesture. You listen with your thumb, and speak into you pinky, very classy as you can see. Then there's massage gloves, that extend a massage like feeling so you don't have too, too bad they hit two birds with one stone and massage the massager's hands. Next up are ping pong paddle gloves, Hander-Pants which are ridiculous purposeless gag-gift, Piano Gloves which sound nice, and then LED finger light gloves which is rather alien or predator like. So this holiday shopping season, think of Palm's and talk to the hand.
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.