This proposed technology will provide the viewer with emotional labor. The technology includes hair, breasts, a bottom, an old photograph, a patented high chair, a reaching doll hand, a flying car-bus, and a rainbow. Things will explode and become sparkles and shatter and become colorful floating balls. There will even be bubbles!
Women have the meta-common knowledge that we/they perform the majority of the emotional labor in the world (see links below). This technology just helps us out a tiny bit:)
With this in mind, these technologies assemble the ideas from inspiring creative women thinkers and makers in a sort of technological idea montage. In so doing, the technologies can be seen as a community of women’s creative work that makes visible the often invisible work of women, both paid and unpaid.
US PATENT No. 608,359 from 1898 by Carrie E. Brower
This high chair drawing is from US Patent No. 608,359 by Carrie E. Brower in 1898 for a reclining high-chair. The apparatus attached to this high chair rocks like a rocking chair, a cradle or a swinging child’s chair.
HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPH OF CHILD RELATIVES
This technology features one of old photographs collected by my relatives on my father’s side. Due to lack of historical records, we have the photographs but do not know who is represented in the image. The image appears to be created using masking in the darkroom. Just like the family pictured, I have three children. So there is a familial connection to these children despite the knowledge of who they are.
FEMALE BODY INCLUDED IN TECHNOLOGICAL DESIGN
Most technologies are designed for and by men. In an attempt to recode technology as inclusive of female, the female body is co-opted to become technological in absurd ways. Rotating breasts (complete with rendition of my lumpectomy) that rotate to transform a flying bus into a rainbow. Long, flowing hair that morphs and distorts, a bottom that rocks like a rocking chair or swinging baby seat, a plastic doll hand that reaches for the always-out-of-reach bottom. Many women are familiar with the “butt grab” experienced in different contexts, including their paid and unpaid work environments. The work of Rebekah Modrak illuminates this reality.
Luckily, the hand and bottom in my technology explode:) What happens to the nipple at the end of the video? ummmm…. I am only being half-way facetious. I do mean to shout: INCLUDE WOMEN’S BODIES IN TECHNOLOGY DESIGN & INNOVATION! For Petra’s Sake! For numerous examples of the woman’s body being excluded from technological design, see these books
Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men, 2019 by Caroline Criado Perez
Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men by Katrine Marcal
FLYING CARS & THE 1914 ELECTRIC CAR OF CLARA FORD
All of these famous entrepreneurs are always talking about flying cars…. If created, who will these actually benefit? What if we instead consider flying buses to take our children to school? How joyous would that be???!!!!
And why did we not have electric cars until recently, when they are much better that gas cars in many ways? The car pictured here is the Clara Ford Electric car that could have instigated innovation in the process of electric vehicles, as opposed to gas, but history is bound up with gender.
Image from this source: https://www.thehenryford.org/collections-and-research/digital-collections/artifact/209957/
Katrine Marçal is the author of Mother of Invention: How Good Ideas Get Ignored in an Economy Built for Men. She writes, “Why did it seem so implausible to the car industry that a male consumer could want a car that he could start without risking breaking his wrist? Why was it taken for granted that men wanted a car that roared and stank by default? Why were demands for comfort, convenience and safety attributed to women alone?
If anything, these values are human values. But that which we have chosen to call “feminine” we often also think of as “inferior.” That certainly happened with the early electric car.
It became a “drawing room on wheels” – rather than a technological marvel.” Source: https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-ladies-only-why-men-snubbed-the-original-electric-car/
Rainbows are everywhere these days. And for very good reasons. They symbolize inclusivity and human rights. They are also just so, so lovely. What if there was a technology to poop out rainbows that then explode into beautiful balls?!!!
How much fun would it be if all technologies sounded like comical soundtracks? This sound comes from AudioBlocks sound file “cartoon-tuba-comedy-theme-SBA-300063691”. Cartoon Tuba Comedy Theme from Audioblocks Asset ID: SBA-300063691
PRODUCT DISPLAY IMAGE
The background image is an Adobe Stock photograph that is commonly used to showcase designs for products. It is Adobe Stock FILE #: 351595747
AFTER EFFECTS DIGITAL EFFECTS
The objects explode and disintegrate and transform using digital effects in After Effects. I couldn’t resist using these because I am so amazed at how the computer scientists who designed these apps are able to create code to alter the images this way. I delight in their brilliance. I also have an endorphin rush when things explode in a joyous way. I love testing the effects and discovering through surprise how their code changes the footage or images assembled. The surprise element is at the heart of creativity and humor, which provides emotional labor due to the emotional release it triggers.
INSPIRED BY UNPRODUCTIVE SOLUTIONS
This project was inspired by the work of Rebekah Modrak and Marialaura Ghidini after reading their call for Unproductive Solutions https://unproductivesolutions.com/.