Broken Portraits

The Aesthetic of Planned Obsolescence

Since 2017 (ongoing)
Plexiglass + Laser cutter
56 x 27 cm
Series of 3
Media Archaeology

Mass produced devices are highly impersonal: each of them, when new, looks exactly like the next one. Tablets, smartphones are very personal devices that we carry everyday and yet, as objects, they are very impersonal.

With planned obsolescence those devices are designed to break. On the other hand cracks and scratches become signs that allow us to identify our devices among similar ones. So once broken, they become unique and, in a way personal.

Broken Portraits is a series of portraits of mobile phone users created from their broken screens. After the original cracks have been retraced precisely, the screen is enlarged and reproduced with plexiglass by a laser cutter. Each piece carries the name of its original owner.


Variations Paris
Cité Internationale des Arts. November 2017.
Curated by Dominique Moulon

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