Machine inserts razor blades

Door Rob Duarte.

“”A Prototype for a Machine that Inserts Razor Blades into Apples” is a foil for every other invention in our designed world. A deadpan, purely technical description of its function makes it no less sinister. Are other technology objects, machines and products so accurately or honestly labeled? Does its labeling alter our perception of its intent? Does its shoddy construction, its label identifying it as a prototype or its presumed existence in an art context make the user of the device any less complicit in the act of inserting a razor blade into an apple? A technical manual for a safety-certified finished version of the product, capable of performing the action en mass accompanies the object. The prototype, however, provides very little technical mediation in the act of picking up a razor blade and getting it into the fruit. In the end, the difference between this prototype paired with its documentation and a properly designed, engineered and marketed machine is in the transparency of its intention. If we consider both types of objects to have their own embedded political ideology, then how can we compare the one that ignores or hides its place in political systems versus the one that blatantly, and perhaps with blissful ignorance, announces its cultural locus?”

Aldus Hertz in Critical Making 2012.