the unbearable weight of the surface

Hello, I’m Andy, and I am addicted to all things estethical. I believe surface is everything. Attention to detail is my religion. I may walk with my feet, but I veto and vote the direction with my eyes. My whole function is based on parametres established by an amassed archive of design associations.

Beauty is not only skin-deep. Beauty is skin-deep. I have to assume you pronounced that sentence like it was a bad thing, but THINK: could the thickness of beauty matter any less?! As long as what’s underneath is even half-ignorable, I do. And in the name of beauty, I forgive, too.

I realized all of this as I was buying soy sauce. It had to be Kikkoman – I mean, it just had to be! There was no way I was buying the other brands! And do you know why? Because the etiquette on the Kikkoman bottle is very stylish. Soon I was wondering whether I was buying red onions because they look better than the yellow, or just because they taste better in a salad. And I couldn’t quite give an honest answer to that question…

Do you know, that every time I drive past ugly buildings in my hometown, I wish I had the financial power to tear them down and replace them with something by Frank Lloyd Wright. When I see a garden in disgrace, I want to knock on the door, and demand action. Or call the fashion police. Special edition DVDs in original language? Don’t get me started. I’ve bought books judged by covers, several times.
Whenever I’m about to purchase anything, even the most mundane of things, I spend hours weighing design values, and imagining how it will look in relevant context. Frustrated service-providers will hear a lot of “Does this also come in…?”

Just look around: there is the slinky Pioneer playa in satellite silver, there is the shiny black Pixma printer, the wafer-thin titanium Sony Vaio, the funky Tivoli Audio iPal, the blood-red LaCie Brick… what’s worse, I don’t care so much if these things are any good, cheap or expensive, as long as they please my eye.
When a layout is just right, my eyes channel the perfect surface to my brain, in turn responding with warm euphoria, and spreading it throughout my entire shivering corpus.

These are the confessions of a sensitive aesthete addict. Forms and shapes and colors and shiny reflections keep me locked in a cage. I’m a slave, reduced to a gimp. Worse yet, it’s getting harder and harder to tolerate the halfbaked, the bland, and the messy.
Unfortunately, there is not enough money in the world to feed my habit, and it’s near-impossible to break free, so I must deal with it. And I do, every day, everywhere I go… beholding, beholding.

I know I’m not the only one. Come out, come out, in whichever closet you are.

5 thoughts on “the unbearable weight of the surface”

  1. That is amazingly irrelevant. We all see beauty, period.

    I always have to use a tooth-puller on you – z.B, here: So, how does it affect you? Imagine two things, relatively evenly matched: one ugly, one beautiful. Which one do you pick? Why? Then, why on a deeper level?

  2. Tooth-puller…
    Ok.
    The beautiful.
    Bien évidemment!
    But why?
    Why would I pick up Den fula ankungen?
    Maybe if I wanted to make it beautiful myself.
    That’s on a much deeper level.
    The creating one, not the consuming.
    Zum Beispiel.
    Irrelevant, amazingly.
    Period?

  3. Right. Well, I felt a need to see how incredibly much surfaces control our lives. And I also think we don’t even come close to realizing just how much. We automatically go for perception-pleasing material without even blinking, whatever it is, wherever it takes place, and whenever it happens.
    In the final analysis, surface is completely pointless – yet it is in total control. Personally, I find this ‘revelation’ quite fantastic – even hard to understand, in some ways.

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