Yin Aiwen's "The Massage is the Medium"


As part of our countdown to the launch of Issue 5: Networks, GRAPHITE presents “The Massage is the Medium” by Yin Aiwen. This part-installation/part-performance shows the strain in the body regarding the all-encompassing experience with technology. This technological fatigue on the human body turns out to be somewhat paradoxical, as the only way to alleviate it is with more digital exposure.

From the artist’s website:

Marshall McLuhan claimed “the medium is the message”. As extensions of man, the medium comforts you, persuades you, manipulates you, controls you.

The situation has now flipped – under the spell of the medium, the human has become the extension of the machine. Design, with its notion of mass communication has taken part in mechanising the human.

Working alongside consumerism, it has transformed us painlessly. The Massage is the Medium is now open for a reverse experience. The harsh, ruthless massage has no interest in your pleasure. a flash in your eyes. a voice in your ear. a chair that makes it impossible to run. a message only for you.

Your heartbeat is so human that everyone can hear it; the message is so personal that it gives you the creeps. Not entirely comforting, but I do invite you with pleasure.

Yin Aiwen will exhibit “The Massage is the Medium” at Chaumont Design Graphique in Chaumont, France from May 23rd – 30th.

In addition, Aiwen has been working on a film installation called “Selfie Cinema” as part of Monolithm, a design and research collective which investigates “the coexistence of the digital and physical, the rational and the irrational, the machinelike and the soulful.”

Stay tuned for more information about the upcoming issue of Graphite, which launches on Friday, June 6th.