bronze, ebony wood
“What can we produce for future generations?”
This was the central question when designing this object. Many of the utilities we use today were needed 10,000 years ago and will probably be needed in 10,000 years from now. We live in a time where we have created the means for a complex and large-scale production capacity, whilst paradoxically, so much of what we produce won’t last for only a few years or days and will be discarded. Most ‘extensions of men’ are merely made for the trashcan.
So how can we pass on the story of today to future generations? And how to connect media to human needs instead of human needs to media?
When you look at the traces of past generations, you’ll see that beauty, no matter how fragile objects are, can survive time. Beauty is a reason for people to preserve objects. That is sustainable. High-quality use of materials in combination with craftsmanship are some of the essential ingredients required to achieve beauty. By giving a baby a walking-stick, you wish him or her a long life, after which the object can to be passed on to the next generation. Bronze will oxidize into a dark brown in about 75 years, the average lifespan of a human being, but when you start using the stick, the bronze will be polished again. When this stick will eventually be found by archaeologists in the distant future, they can trace back the needs of the past, its use and the manufacturing qualities of the object, which serves as a perfect reflection of our time.
Bronze forms will still be recognizable in tens of millions of years, and the ebony wood might turn into stone. The possible time range for the survival of this object is therefore almost unlimited.
Perhaps this stretches out so far, that the so far that media survives its needs.