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”.
“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 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 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.