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Stories by Rebecca Jablonsky

Designing the Underdog: Instances of Technology and Art as Human Equalizers

While perusing the overwhelmingly crowded yet interesting exhibit "Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects" at New York City's Museum of Modern Art on a recent Friday evening, the merging of technology and art inspired some internal reflection on what was being said about their respective functions in society.Two particularly striking pieces were the documentation of Hiromi Ozaki's "Menstruation Machine" and Hans Hemmert's "Level" - mainly because they were instances of creating technology to equalize discrepancies between human beings rather than embodying the traditional role of technology as human enhancement.The Menstruation Machine invokes the age-old "Put yourself in the other person's shoes…" mentality.Except, for the word "shoes" substitute "bleeding painful panties."It is designed to create abdominal pain in its wearer through electrode stimulation, while dispensing blood for 5 days.

September 26, 2011 — Rebecca Jablonsky

20% off Scientific American Health & Medicine

20% off Scientific American Health & Medicine