The Fueled Collective, NYC.
It is no secret that I love New York City, there is something fascinating about her. I was a child of the 80´s and 90´s and I think that the influence of New York in the popular culture of those two decades was massive, in terms of music, films and art.
Although alternative spots of reference for the avant-garde popular culture have appeared around the world in the last years, New York is still a swarm of creativity.
A very good example are the guys from Fueled, an award winning app design and development company based in NYC. You may have heard of the popular game QuizUp, developed by them or their Barney app, for which they have recently won a Webby.
Fueled´s headquarters are The Fueled Collective in Lower Manhattan, a shared work office where they rent out space to other start ups to help them grow and collaborate with like minded individuals and industry experts.
Last month, Fueled partnered up with artist Evan Desmond Yee, turning one of the meeting rooms into a mock Apple Store. The exhibit is a commentary on startups and tech culture and, ironically, is inside a tech collective.
"Waiting is an unavoidable part of life. Computers are no exception in contributing to delay. They freeze our monitors and clog it with junk. One popular example is the Mac. In a stroke of brilliance, Yee took this simple color concept and from it forged two real life adaptations of Mac’s dreaded icon, which he coined the “Spinning Pinwheel of Death” to mock the Mac’s superiority. One hangs right above the receptionist’s head while the other is mounted on a table in the middle of the Fueled Collective’s waiting area. Yee explains that the mechanism behind his works of art are actually quite simple: there is one encompassing source of lighting behind the cover that gives the gives the flush of colors its life. Spinning blades continuously rotate in front of it like propellers in an engine, giving users the final impression that the icon is alive and running."
"This showcase features a pillar in the shape of very narrow, elongated rectangular prism that stands like a starved edifice. It may appear very skinny, but its content is anything but starved or frail. The structure is segmented into numerous layers of dirt and other bare elements of nature, like an archeological dig site. In the middle of it all is an iPhone cased in plastic resin. Yee explained that all the layers of the art beneath the iPhone could be perceived as that which came before mobile and the layers above the iPhone as the future of cellular technology. When I asked Yee what the scope of history/magnitude of timeline the artwork encompassed, he replied that it’s up to the viewer’s imagination, that it can just as easily represent the millions of years before and after the iPhone as it can convey the days, weeks, or months surrounding its release. The iPhone is preserved in resin to symbolize the acuteness and delicacy of the present that we are immersed in."
"There was one point in time when the hourglass was the standard way of telling time. You can hold this item in the palm of your hands as if it were an actual iPhone. Yee goes on to say the iFlip is actually an accurate reflection of how mobile dependent human civilization has become. We accumulate hours upon hours on the phone, so much that we might be wasting our own lives away. However, instead of forging a representation of decay, Yee takes a subtler stance by crafting an hourglass inside of an iPhone as an active reminder for those holding it that precious time that is slipping away from them by the second. He also showed me that if you take a closer look, you’ll notice that the material inside the hourglass are chips of metal. That’s right. The “sand” that rests within the artwork is the resulting debris of a ground up iPhone itself. Ouch! That must’ve hurt the blender."
"Before now, you might think that phone cameras are just for taking pictures and recording. That’s all about to change. This artwork introduces an unconventional kaleidoscope that is especially fitted for the iPhone. Put it on your phone and access your camera function. You’ll see exactly what you see in the kaleidoscope as if it were pressed against your brows, now all on your phone. Yee describes it as “An App in Real Life”
We all have our special dreams and aspirations. Yee envisioned a realm where technology could be dismantled, stripped to its bare elements, and be reconstructed with the tools and wisdom of art, irony, and humor. By visiting Yee’ Art installation here at Fueled, you’ll get a glimpse into that realm. It might not be very mystical since it deals with mobile, but Yee’s personal touch gives it a certain sophistication that only art and technology can give off together, instead of the latter alone. This is evident in every work of art in his gallery.