Group Exhibition: "Planned Obsolescence" at SJSU
A little newer, a little better, a little faster. Like the eager anticipation of the newest smartphone, compulsive human motion and consumption ultimately lead to the hastening of our physical, cultural, and social deterioration. "Planned Obsolescence" is a group exhibition at the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery displaying works by artists of the greater Bay Area: Sebastian Alvarez, Ebitenyefa Baralaye, Terry Berlier, Ilana Crispi, Woody De Othello, Hope Kroll, Izidora Leber LETHE, Diana Li, Darrin Martin, Daniel McClain, Lucy Puls, and Lauren Jade Szabo.
Reception: Tuesday, 1/29/2019, 6pm to 7:30pm. Lecture, 5pm to 6pm.
Duration: Tuesday, 1/29/2019 to Friday 2/22/2019
Location: Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery, San Jose State University, Art Building 127, Department of Art & Art History, One Washington Square, San Jose, CA 95129, (near 10th/San Carlos Street)
Wrapped up in the capitalist essence that seems to saturate every facet of contemporary culture, the term "planned obsolescence" refers to a practice of consumer goods manufacturing companies to engineer rapid consumption through frequent changes in design, termination of spare part inventory, and use of nondurable materials in their products. While this term was originally coined by economists to describe the practice of consumer goods manufacturers (particularly in the automobile industry), the term is now more commonly applied to practices of the technology industry. Since the majority of these companies are here in Silicon Valley, the Natalie and James Thompson Art Gallery has invited artists from the greater Bay Area with a diversity of perspectives to present work reflecting on contemporary notions of "planned obsolescence."
Like the upgrades of hardware and the updates of software we scramble to keep pace with, the term "planned obsolescence" is equally an apt description of the human experience. While our individual lives are unique to our own perspectives on reality, components of experiences within our lifespan are partially relatable to and replicated by future generations after we have passed away. Each artificially limited, useful life contains flaws, weaknesses, and limitations we continuously seek to replace quicker, shortening the replacement cycle of our world, paradigm, and relations more and more. This exhibition applies the ever-shortening lifespan of technological products to what it means to be human. The artists question erasure of identity through commodification and the effect of materialism and waste on objects, traditions, and the environment.