Modern Times (1936)

Modern Times (1936)
The tramp is choosen to test a machine that would delete the lunch break in order to guarantee the maxium production per day
The tramp is chosen to test a machine that would delete the lunch break in order to guarantee the maxium production per day

Modern Times

Modern time is an old, mute movie by Charlie Chaplin, who according to his social activism, represents the terrible consequences of American Great Depression in a tragicomic way.There are two main characters which represent ideologies against the woking’s mood during the inter-wars period.There is a tramp f who  is working within the massive rise of industrial automation. He is driven crazy by his monotonous, inhuman work on a conveyor belt and being used as a guinea pig to test a machine to feed workers as they work. He escapes the fabric but ends in prison soon. Gamine (Paulette Goddard) stands for the mass unemployment, poverty and economic disequalities of the private, familiar life. The tramp meets Gamine because he covers her stealing some bread, from that moment they struggle to make a living and eventually experience what was the unaccessible world of luxurius consumerism. The tramp works in a naval yard but is sent to prison, then he founds job in a commercial center where he manages to get fired on his first working night and is sent to prison  again. Finally he becomes a dancer with Gamine. even if they are always poor and hounted by the police, they don’t lose hope and they look like “anarchists” , as Charlie Chaplin claimed on a news paper, in the world of the machine’s tyranny where everybody seems “weighted down with duty”.

Th etram and his own repetitive movement of turning gallons.
Th stream and his own repetitive movement of turning gallons.
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“The art of craft: the rise of the designer-maker”, an article by Justin McGuirk

“The art of craft: the rise of the designer-maker”, an article by Justin McGuirk
Enzo Mari’s design against mass production. “Disgusted by the quality of affordable furniture available to the public he created a set of designs that people could make from themselves” Justin McGuirk

“Mass manufacturing will be essential to lifting a billion people out of poverty, and providing basic goods that we took for granted long ago”.
Justin McGuirk

Justin McGuirk article on  desing an postmodernism is truly interesting because it perfectly points out the western tendency  of bringing back the authentic manifacture with the introduction of high tech innovations. In order to demonstrate that, McGuirk analyses an article he saw on “Port” the magazine, argues the “new desire to reveal the process and not just the finished object”. Appealing to the theories of both Immanuel Kant and Richard Sennet he explains how only with the “skilled manual labour…is one path to a fullfilling life” . Furthermore, drawing his quotations from foreign voices (Marx, Fastrez, Siguardson and Mari) , he is also includes evidences of past theoretical connections to present phenomena.

The master of Communistic tought, Karl Hulrich Marx talks about the
The master of Communistic tought, Karl Hulrich Marx talks about the “commodity fetishism” which is machine (evanescent)perfection.
Torch with long wooden handle
Sigurdarson’s torch with long wooden handle

The article is finally completed by including a reflection on the rest of the world, which make us re-think our attitudes towards the possession of objects, which is evolving negatively into a “fetishism”. I think is important to keep a critic eye towards innovation in the society we live in and always to consider the others in terms of how what we do could affect them. It is because of his anthropological orientation that I consider valuable and inspiring this article.