Our iPods, our playlists, our "libraries," allow us to externalize our consumerist capriciousness. Consequently, our collections are eternally deficient. I have often heard iPod users describing that they are "sick of all their music." I, too, am sick of all my music, having only uploaded about 1000 songs to my iPod. How, though, can I have 1000 songs and not want to listen to one?
I am not weary of these 1000 songs as they sit, dormant, on my desk, nor when they bounce latently in my pocket. No, only at the critical moment when I must choose a single song to play do these songs, by way of projection, become inadequate. In fact, with such an overwhelming choice to make, the act of selecting a song becomes at least as important as listening to it.
If we generalize that expendable income and alternatives (here "songs") increase proportionately, it would seem an abundance of alternatives would be desirable and motivating. Ironically, we find that too many options - an overwhelming choice - is demotivating. In other words, instead of "How can I have 1000 songs and not want to listen to one?" perhaps the better question is: How can I have 1000 songs and pick just one? With so many options, iPod users must rely on heuristics or "elimination strategies" to narrow the field.
An emerging corpus of psychological study investigates the overwhelming choices with which consumers are perpetually confronted. Authors give this phenomenon different names - the "tyranny of choice," "choice overload," etc. - but their findings tend to confirm each other. Citing various works, Iyengar and Lepper write:
To begin with, research has shown that as the attractiveness of alternatives rises individuals experience conflict and, as a result, tend to defer decision, search for new alternatives, choose the default option, or simply opt not to choose.
The simplest way to alleviate weariness is to add new songs to a collection. But while these supplements might serve as a stopgap, they ultimately contribute to a redoubling of the effect. In this respect, typical iPod use is not unlike a substance addiction.
Verlan (French street slang) for "laisse tomber" - i.e., forget about it. Beginning with the premise that objects are often overthought, this collection of ceramic tabletop items explores the room for serendipity in design. How might we leave our designs to chance? How do we interpret the circumstances we're handed?
Less figuratively, "laisse tomber" means "to drop": each of these objects leaves some formal aspect to the compelling force of gravity.
A Bisl Yiddish
plotzn (v.) — to explode
"I ate so many latkes, I could plotz."
- cilantro, mint & spinach
- purée with nuts, garlic, spring onion, lemon & oil
- finished ispanak mkhali
- toss with cooked red beans & trofie