Chuang Hsiang-Ching


Mankind and technology belong to each other. While technology has improved our lives, there has always been an almost primitive fear for technology, deeply ingrained in the human psyche. What if we cannot control the machine no longer? What if it’s power takes over?


In these last decades another peak was reached in the development of high tech, which gradually has gained more power over our lives as it became more and more refined, more condense, more precise. Especially after the invention of the chip in the 60s, components and circuits keep micronizing at an extreme pace.

While the machines’ functions become more and more complex, all-encompassing, refined and detailed, the external appearance of devices such as the computer and the phone are less living up to the modernist notion of ‘form follows function’. Consider simply how much of our daily activities and our communication with others are somehow hiding within the small encasement of the i-Phone. What we see is a slick industrial form, but this external appearance has nothing to do with the internal mystery.

The style of the outer layer hides like sweet sugar coating all of the secrets of our lives - our memories, hopes, plans - within the electronic devices. The innate human fear for technology, the feeling of the uncanny, is thus soothed by the machine’s skin. But the truth cannot be ignored: the ‘machines’ we use today are capable of much more than the machines one century ago. We would have good reason for being much more scared of our i-Phone that we actually are!

With my project, of which the drawing of the i-Phone is an expression, I want to open up space for discussion and questioning of the things we take for granted too easily. It’s not a plea to go back in time and discard technology, but a lighthearted reminder of what hides within.