By Antonio Scarponi
Edited by Miriam Ho
This is not an IKEA hack. It is a strategy to hack IKEA's infrastructure, and in doing so, stir the collective imagination on "How to Smash Capitalism." Initially staged at "Revolution to Smash Capitalism" curated by Adrian Notz and Philip Meier at Cabaret Voltaire, the birthplace of the DADA movement in Zurich, Switzerland, this is a temporary exhibition created with the IKEA products TROFAST and ANTONIUS zip-tied together. It is designed to host a "revolutionary artist in residence”: it features a bed, bookshelves, tables for workshops, lamps, chairs, and stools, fulfilling basic needs to live and work. Drawing on DADA's legacy to transform the readymade and banal into new narratives, a widely-distributed retail product is used as the basic component of an exhibition that invites us to imagine society beyond the dichotomy of production and consumption. With an exhibition length programmed to match IKEA's three-month-long customer satisfaction policy, the zip ties were cut after the exhibition and all IKEA products were returned to the store. With this strategy, the exhibition had limited costs and minimal waste. While corporations design policies to govern their interactions with customers, loopholes exist in these rules that can be exploited to subvert the cycle of production and consumption. The illustrated manual presented here documents how you can reactivate this exhibition in any city near an IKEA store.
Antonio Scarponi is an Architect and designer (www.conceptualdevices.com). He studied architecture at Cooper Union, NY and at IUAV, Venice. He is a Curry Stone design prize recipients (2008) and author of ELIOOO, an instruction manual about how to go to IKEA and grow food in your apartment with hydroponics.