On the Secret Life of Things – Familiar objects, new behaviours

Created by Steffen Hartwig, On the Secret Life of Things is a series of experimental prototypes that explore the new and ubiquitous rituals of everyday life. By repurposing familiar objects, the project re-imagines them for the age of information. A calculator no longer needs to calculate, a power strip does not simply provide power and the phone no longer needs humans to be operated. These objects nonetheless still perform their basic functions, but are mediated through information networks.

Today we are surrounded by new, digital objects. But the things we thought we know somehow changed. Electronic things start to communicate with us and each other, they radically change our everyday life and actions. The objects don’t look spectacular or new, one seems to recognize something in each one of them. They were created on the basis of well-known things everybody knows from their life. They pick up properties of the new things that easily disappear in the rumpus of digitalization. The new things start to act and make decisions autonomously – a behavior we previously knew only from living beings.

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