Tool For Armchair Activists
Moritz Waldemeyer, a UK artist and technologist (with a great blog, BTW) has really impressed me with his range of inventive designs crossing politics, art, and technology. The Tool for Armchair Activists is one of my favorite of Mr. Waldemeyer’s inventions. He has created a self-sustaining loudspeaker that can be mounted in any area of political power like near the White House, for instance. The loudspeaker is connected through wi-fi and can receive text messages which are then turned into speech and played through the loudspeaker. The idea is that anyone can have their say at a protest no matter where they are located on the planet.
I have two interpretations on the meaning of this device. The first interpretation is more cynical which is the device brings to light just how lazy and apathetic protesters have become, so much so that they have to text in their protests rather than gather in a physical group. The second interpretation, and my personal favorite, is that this is just another device that allows you to save valuable resources while advocating social justice. In other words, I actually feel a bit weird buying a plane ticket to go to a protest over oil so why not live your life oil free and just text in your message (which is, of course texted in by a rechargeable battery powered by a solar array). All things said, it’s a bit unavoidable to miss some level of hypocrisy when using the Tool for Armchair Activists which kind of makes the device all that more important.