Under a global COVID lockdown, we rely more than ever on the technologies that enable remote connection. Our devices give us access to the virtual world, but they often disconnect us from people in the same room, and even from ourselves.
Despite being aware of their disruptive qualities, it is very difficult to put down our phones — they are designed to be addictive, carried at all times, always on. Surveillance capitalism is underwritten by pervasive network ubiquity, because only trackable engagements can be commodified. Existing solutions are unwieldy and don’t ensure that the people around you will do the same. What if we could control connectivity in our homes with the same ease with which we can adjust lighting and temperature?
Instead of bulbs, the Dis/Connect Chandelier has signal jamming antennae mounted at the end of each arm, which glow from within. All cellular and internet connectivity is disabled, but only for those who sit directly below it. It casts not only light, but digital silence: a new kind of unmediated space.
Disabling cell and wifi is currently illegal, but is based on outdated laws. Should citizens have the right in their own personal space to decide the rules of connectivity for their privacy and mental health?
NOTE: first prototype being completed now, photos available after Dec 7, 2020.