"That these sites were vanishing wasn't the only reason. We were really fascinated by them. And nobody else was doing what we were doing. There was the thrill of the new, the adventure." Hilla Becher
Street furniture is the collective name for the things that make the public space inviting or even just habitable, from trams to street benches, but in the age of post-industrial capitalism and privatization, the street furniture is also a point of commerce. Documenting in an archival format and a nod to the work of Hilla and Bernd Becher, I explore the city's furniture as well as folk interventions to commercial endeavors.
The street furniture in question is the last of the cigarette automates. These odd machines all looked similar when new, but as they deteriorate and embed themselves in their environment, they become unique, they shift, they gain personality and then they die, or killed, or just get replaced. The process of individualization is the process of dying for the post-industrialist product/machine.
I want to raise the question of who owns the public space, who can use it, and how. But also since the machines are a memory of the past and are now rarely being used, I want the audience to consider new ways in which the city can be cataloged, the pieces that are so common that they camouflaged in our daily life. There is also the question of automation and the future, in an odd way the machines are being replaced by places where humans work, instead of machines in the city, there are spatis and gas stations. The machines are there as either remnants or in case there aren’t enough people; as a last hurrah in dying villages. It is the opposite of the chrome future we were promised/threatened with, the machines are dying alongside the way of life that sustained them.