When, in the turbulent years following the Russian revolution, the Constructivist Alexander Rodchenko argued that ‘Our things in our hands must be equals, comrades’ he was making a call for the development of a new kind of emotionally affective object. Now, at the beginning of the Twenty First century, we live in a consumerist age when the things that surround us are often deliberately constructed to produce certain subjectivities and ways of relating to the material world. This paper examines what potential the early modernist cry for ‘art into life’ may have when commodity aesthetics dominate our modes of perception.
Damon Taylor is currently engaged in a PhD project at iRes investigating why contemporary designers are creating functional objects which aspire to the condition of art? Damon completed his BA in The History of Design and the Visual Arts in 1993 at Staffordshire University and received a Master’s Degree in Cultural Studies from Leeds University in 1995. He is an active writer, performer and teacher and his research interests include the study of commodity aesthetics, the cultural history of pub interiors, the interplay between art and design in consumer culture and the development of Design Art in contemporary furniture practice.