wearables

This series of work started in 2001 with the construction of the “Captor”, the first fully functional gadget by Tekami. It is an exploration of the concepts of functionality and usefulness, most often centered around combinations or restrictions of the senses and bodily functions. All items in the series are fully functional, but the tasks they fulfill are elusive and absurd at best. The objects are presented with packaging, user manuals and marketing campaigns, and are sometimes incorporated in performances or videos. The idea is that they should appear as perfectly acceptable commodities that one might buy to enhance the experience of modern life.

All the instruments and their mechanisms are designed and constructed by the artist – down to the smallest 1mm screws – a very time-consuming and challenging work. The process involves various levels of CAD-design as well as handmade sketches and direct experimentation with materials.

The alphabet used in the packaging, instructions and posters is invented by the artist and all texts are written in Italian – perfectly legible for those who possess the key.

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This was the first TEKAMI device – a mix between a shutter mechanism and a diaphragm with a viewfinder; a sort of camera without film. By loading the mechanism and pulling the trigger a short glimpse of reality can be captured on your retina. The drawing above is the first attempt at an instruction manual. Captor remains the only wearable constructed primarily in brass.

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The Ven-Taglio is a folding fan with a switchblade mechanism – it will fold small enough to fit in a pocket, and flash open with a metallic pang at the flick of a switch. Despite their menacing looks the thin titanium blades are not particularly sharp. The fan was bought by the National Museum of Art, Architecture & Design in Oslo (N) in 2006.

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The BiDirectional Vision Instrument is a set of goggles with a prism mounted in front of the right eye and a small mirror set up as a backwards looking periscope. The prism collects the light from two directions and creates a composite image, so the final effect is that of looking forwards and backwards at the same time. In ideal conditions the two images are mixed in such a way that the subject wearing the BDVI cannot distinguish between what is actually in front of him/her and what is behind.

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In a certain way the anus represents the ultimate taboo in western society – with naked people everywhere in advertising and on TV the anus remains the only part of the body that is still basically “dirty”. The exclusive anal jewellery LeCanal seeks to explore the balance on the fine line between our desire for beautiful objects and our disgust at their physical function. It utilizes a visual language that should appeal to those least likely to accept its designated use. It is forged and cut from 925 silver and comes in a delicate and elegant packaging. A slight detour from the mechanical language and the only such piece ever made by the artist. Sold to a private collector.

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The Air Taxation Device is an instrument that forces the person wearing it to pay for breathing. The mask is fitted with a turbine that drives a counting-mechanism – after a certain amount of time the air-intakes are shut off and the insertion of a 1-cent coin is required to rewind the mechanism and continue breathing.

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The Uni-Directional Aural Device is a pilot-style leather helmet with hearing protectors, and a stethoscope connected to a horn placed on top of the head. It limits the hearing of the wearer in such a way that the subject may only perceive sounds created by objects placed directly in front of her/him.