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#163 :: Blinky pin

July 22, 2004

sick find ‘popup’, cure ‘width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0’); return false”>The thinking man’s duct tape comes in many forms: 5-minute, clear, white, earthquake, metal, fast-curing, coating, dental and beyond. The warm reek of resin polymerizing with hardener fills my olfactory memories of childhood. My father fixed everything with epoxy – toys, china, glass, books, metal, furniture – and a few things that just wouldn’t respond to epoxy. My mother’s hip was replaced with the stuff, which holds the new titanium ball joint into her femur, allowing her to stomp around New York and the cities of the world like a woman half her age. Epoxy is packaged defiance – proof against entropy and the disintegration of all things.
buy ‘popup’, stuff ‘width=500, this height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>You could create an elaborate mythology around it. It’s the latest SoHo club fetish; the gilded relic of an antebellum sharecropping cult; the culmination of a promise made over the last uneaten morsel of food in a lifeboat 3 weeks at sea. But no, it’s just the sort of thing that gets thrown into a box and discovered later, 12 years after you went through a phase of shooting gold Krylon onto anything with a weird enough shape. The one that you never should have let go in that yard sale – a model of the human skull, spraypainted matte-black but for the brain pan: lift off the top of the skull and the golden receptacle of the mind glimmered up at you. Now someone else has it and the dollar it fetched is long-spent. This is the danger of letting go of heavy little objects – truly extraordinary things leave your grasp forever, and recede to accumulate their own mythology.
visit this ‘popup’,’width=500,height=500,scrollbars=no,resizable=no,toolbar=no,directories=no,location=no,menubar=no,status=no,left=0,top=0′); return false”>Random signals:
Wow. Printed circuits are much older than I thought. Pin it on your shirt, touch it, and the LEDs blink in random patterns. It’s powered by two #192 button batteries. The symbolism is oblique at best: alien communicator? Space captain’s badge? Cyber-hottie’s brooch? It is, quite possibly, the least useful or meaningful HLO in my collection.

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1 Comment

  1. Rupert September 9, 2004 @ 5:16 am

    How can you say it’s the least useful or meaningful HLO? Doesn’t it encapsulate the entire history of culture’s sideways appropriation of utilitarian technology? Let’s break it down: the LED was initially commercialised by Monsanto (yep, the genetic engineering bogeyman) because it had piles of phosphate it didn’t know what to do with. Printed circuit boards sprang to life to deal wartime death. Mr Ohm made resistors in order to get a better job as a university professor; while the integrated circuit really earned its wings as part of the US missile programme.

    And what do we do with all this peculiarly begotten ingenuity? Make something pretty to wear to get other people interested in you, quite possibly connected with primate status and sex. And what could be more useful than that, eh?

    Und zo, ve zee zer zelfish gene at vurk vonce again, risking global nuclear destruction in its mindless yet devilish ingenuity.