Within the Limits of Animism
This project was developed during the intensive month-long program Data & Society at the School of Machines, Making and Make-Believe in Berlin, Germany.
In June 2019, I had the opportunity to learn digital fabrication techniques. Initially, I was looking for organic objects, which could be printed in 3D, but as I searched, I realised that the objects I was finding were more closely tied to brands and consumer goods - than to natural representations. I printed different objects which were found online, these included the Lacoste alligator, the Tinder fire and Mr. Peanut. Inspired by Marx's commodity fetichism (1867), and the Western understanding of African objects, deemed fetishes. I wanted to give these commodified representations back their spirits, or to at least use technology to imagine animism.
Each of the 3D printed objects have an RFID chip on them. A red acrylic box holds in it an RFID reader, connected to an Arduino. When the object is placed on the reader, it displays images related to the object. I planned to have the objects display Google searches related to the objects, but in this first iteration of the work, it was not feasible.