Last Thursday, Amazon unveiled their new line of Kindles and the internet was soon awash in Kindle-porn as the tech blogs promptly commenced their collective drooling. While the jury is still out on whether you really need that new Kindle Paperwhite or Kindle Fire HD when you hardly ever use your existing one, one reason to consider making the switch is all the fun ways you can creatively destroy your old device.
Any digital product, such as the Kindle, is prone to errors and failures, many of which can yield surprisingly beautiful, if accidental, results. Reveling in these “aesthetics of failure” is what glitch art is all about, and apparently several artists have already found ample fodder for inspiration in the humble Kindle.
Berlin-based artist Sebastian Schmieg released a print-on-demand art book called 56 Broken Kindle Screens in collaboration with artist Silvio Lorusso. On his site he writes, “The book takes as its starting point the peculiar aesthetic of broken E-Ink displays and serves as an examination into the reading device’s materiality. As the screens break, they become collages composed of different pages, cover illustrations and interface elements.”
Meanwhile, over in Ireland, French-born artist Benjamin Gaulon aka RECYCLISM will literally take your old Kindles off your hands for his KindleGlitched series. These readymades, exploring “the aesthetics of planned obsolescence” are glitchy found, bought, or donated Kindles that Gaulon has hacked to generate unique and permanent visuals. Each one comes signed by the artist.
So, what will you make with your old Kindle?