FRONT PAGE / POSTS
by João Paulo Cavalcanti| Sao Paulo, Brasil
Thursday, 12 August 2010
tags: americas, categories, clients & brands, global vectors, making sense, technology
Have you noticed how many products have come around over the last few years sporting a tiny “i” before their names? Well, if you know not what I speak of, think iPod, iPhone, iPad, iGoogle, iMAX, etc. And these are only a few of the best known. A quick Google search returns over a thousand product names that follow the pattern of a noun preceded by an “i” that is almost isolated in its stately lower-caseness.
Internet! Yes. That seems to be the obvious word that justifies the fame of our little “i”. That seems to be the expression the letter seeks to contract, to simplify. And the trend just goes beyond: iWater, iFood, iHouse, iCity, iTaxes, iGlasses… It’s as if, in this abstract universe that is the internet, all human creation needed to be reborn, rethought, reconsidered, to become lighter, to become iMmaterial.
The “i” initiates and hides behind its challenging and friendly humility. It wants us not to notice it and so it stands humbly ahead of what we already know — while surreptitiously changing the entire genetics of the object. This is the new life of post-internet objects. A new life, its sins washed away by the “i” — the insignia that identifies objects that have been converted to the cult of the ultimate god of objects: the World Wide Web. The object unobjectified.
Objects which operate under different laws of physics. Free of weight, free of volume, free of time. That is to say, ticking to a different time. And all this is identified by our dearest little “i” — which is but the center of our vowels. The anthropomorphic letter that rises up to the global network heavens. But what does it want to tell us, other than "internet”?
Well… the “i” is a lonely letter. As lonely as I. The self-effacing I, that positions itself as an individual, that acknowledges its individuality, its independence. It is isolated, but adds itself to the object in order to become.
Perhaps the letter “i” has been the greatest gift the digital age has offered us: a way to restate, in a subtly stark manner, that we stand small, internet and all.
© João Cavalcanti 2010