We live in an age where we camp out, line up and inflate the media buzz, just to be one of the first ones the get The New Gadget, only to line back up in three months for The Newer Gadget. Though perhaps not his original intent, artist Thijs Rijke’s latest project is a perfect comment on the Sisyphean absurdity of tech’s throw-away culture.

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For his industrial series called “Suicide Machines,” Rijke built machines specifically designed to destroy themselves. So far, he’s built two — a machine that pours sand into its gearbox and one that employs a self-powered saw that cuts into its gearbox.

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The two mechanical “snuff films” he made never actually show the moment when the gears grind to a halt, but there’s a foreboding sense of doom among the footage — a lingering tone of dread, knowing that eventually these machines will conk out.

So when Apple comes out with its latest messiah-like iDevice, and your gold iPhone 5S is so obsolete, feel free to meditate on these two sounds: screeching saw blades slicing into the gearbox and sand grinding down gear teeth. After all, that’s the sound of the men working on the chain gang … the Foxconn chain gang.

via The Verge


Photo: Thijs Rijker