26 October 2015 // Yun Sudrajat //Amsterdam
//SURREALISTIC SKYPE SESSION
One of the prevalent themes I noticed while visiting this year’s Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven seems to be about the growing role of digital devices in our daily lives; and how that influences the way we identify ourselves and interact with each other. ‘Screen Mutations’, a project by Design Academy’s Masters student Louisa Zahareas explores the role of video communication applications like Skype and FaceTime and how this digital interaction blurs the boundaries between the physical and digital world. She visualizes this notion by designing a set of props - cups, teapots, utensils - that look distorted and two-dimensional off-screen, while on-screen they look “normal” due to optical illusions provided by the altering perspectives of the webcam. The result is like a reversal of a Salvador Dali painting: the objects have surrealistic and unpractical shapes in the tangible world, while the image that is represented digitally seems to suggest otherwise. With these objects Zahareas asks an important question: How far are we willing to go in changing our physical experiences to fit with the aesthetics of the screen as a medium?