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November 12, 2007

Electronics Tattoo

There was a time when RE/Search #12: Modern Primitives was the dernier cri in counter-culture self-expression. Now there is Philips Design Probe, Electronics Tattoo.

Tattoos and physical mutilation are amongst the oldest forms of personal expression and identity. Subcultures have used tattoos as a form of self representation; a visual language communicating personality and status. Philips Design examined the growing trend of extreme body adornment like tattoos, piercing, implants and scarring.

An odd refractory effect of postmodern authenticity - for I think this is not the contradiction in terms many critics would suggest - is to the effect that a multinational corporation can appropriate a counter-culture practice but, thanks to Neuromancer and Blade Runner, such corporate appropriation of said practices only serves to reinforce the aesthetic it would commodify. The advertising does not subvert or attenuate the scene, only serve as a backdrop or wallpaper for it.

All I can say is I am glad I read Pattern Recognition before reading this William Gibson interview for Rolling Stone. Full on BDS and global warmenism suggests the man is a bit of a dim bulb. Disappointing when a white goods manufacturer is doing a better job living in the future than the father of cyberpunk.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at November 12, 2007 07:01 AM