suckerPUNCH: Describe your project.
In order to swim one takes off all one’s clothes, in order to aspire to the truth one must undress in a far more inward sense, divest oneself of all one’s inward clothes, of thoughts, conceptions, selfishness etc., before one is sufficiently naked. — Søren Kierkegaard
The cult of celebrity influences our actions and thoughts on a daily basis. We are confronted with half naked celebs immersed in a culture of deviant behavior at every checkout line. As their behavior escalates the shock value of their actions becomes less and less disturbing. Culture absorbs the dysfunctional behavior and expresses it as the norm. Playboy bunnies are rewarded with their own television shows based on their indulgences and we watch. Paparazzi pry into the most private moments and we watch. Nothing stays sacred; the changing identity of the taboo is celebrated in modern media. The context of new technology has allowed a distinct change in how we view celebrity and our own 15 minutes of fame.
Like Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man, design must question what a society based on capitalism and greed has to say because society is in not position to judge. Design must critique the changing identity of the norm. Toward that end, the design project, Ministry of Indulgence, questions the nature of what is presumably taboo and elevates it to the status of celebrity. What is perceived as common for celebrities becomes the basis for a high rise of gratification for the masses. Similar to Japanese Love Hotels, Ministry of Indulgence advances a hotel design with billboard capabilities. The thin towers not only offer graphic glimpses into a lifestyle previously viewed through a television screen but also proliferate across the desert landscape of Los Angeles as needs arise and taboos fall.
The Ministry of Indulgence offers the means to take off all one’s clothes in an effort to generate an understanding of the change in culture’s influence on society and the context of the city.
Produced, Distributed, Bought. Ministry of Indulgence.
sP: What or who influenced this project:
jO: klange, studio 400; my uncle vanya; hookers, pimps, drunks, druggies; Gilbert Lafayette; the lady with a pet dog; and my good friend Henry Chinaski.
sP: What were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?
jO: Reading: all the russians, comet bus, and of course Bukowski; Music: gescom/autechre/lego feet, aphex twin, rainbow person, lakker, burial, C.R.A.S.S.
sP: Whose work is currently on your radar?
jO: Leigh Merrill, James Edmonson, Van Robinson, Charlie Kaufman, WRKSHP, Daemons and Daemons, Hamburger Eyes, The Dusk Group.