Final Project Sketch – Screenscar
In the case of denim or leather products, visible erosion of the material is a marker of value. We enjoy the aesthetic of a worn leather belt, whose signs of wear suggest a sort of history. This type of enjoyment doesn’t seem possible with electronics, in which visible erosion indicates dysfunction and low use-value. Electronics are not generally designed to erode elegantly. Still, the pristine condition is not necessarily a sustainable aesthetic for electronic products, since breakage is an inevitable reality. This is especially evident with smartphone screens, which shatter easily. A shattered iPhone is distinct from all other iPhones, and regardless of functionality, and ceases to perform as a social marker. Shattering an iPhone violates the narratives of a mass-produced design object, destined for obsolescence. If a screen-scar doesn’t affect functionality, its interpretation remains ambiguous. One might posit a culture that embraces the partial destruction of screens, in which the threshold between our physical and digital bodies is a site of aesthetic exploration. A shattered screen relates information about the history of the screen and the identity of the screen owner. A deliberately shattered screen shows self-awareness with regard to the limitations of technology.