The Disorganizers

Under the guise of a fictional company, I have created inflatable devices called Clusterings, “the latest in connectional technology”, which literally connect people, in groups of 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6. Clusterings is absurd, utopian, slightly off — an invention that solves no immediate need. I was inspired, to some extent, by the Japanese tradition of Chindogu, the art of the “un-useless object”.

The product line also includes optional accessories such as water bottle holders, ashtrays, iPod docks–extending the utility of the devices. Typically, the project is presented in a tradeshow format, with cheerful representatives of the Clusterings organization on-hand to demonstrate the product and allow potential “customers” to try out a demonstration model.

A deadpan instructional video functions as a “how-to” for the Clusterings, belaboring the very simple process of using the devices. A second phase in the video shows the devices being used in a variety of everyday situations: playing soccer, running around a track, trying to get on a bus, ordering ice cream, reading newspapers, drinking from a water fountain, etc.

In one interpretation, Clusterings is about connection, communication, negotiation, relationships, the individual in relation to the group. By bringing people together for shared experiences, new possibilities unfold. The project forces a collaborative navigation of local conditions.

More sardonically, Clusterings is also a spoof of commercial offerings–inviting us to reflect on the notion, peddled by consumerist society, that we can achieve happiness and fulfillment through buying the latest, greatest consumer gadgets.

Genres geners 1