When I first saw this cabinet carved to look like a paused VCR or glitchy digital photo I thought, "that's amazing, but it's not really for the CA Modernist blog because what does it have to do with Eichlers? It got stuck in my head, though, because look at it!
And as I thought about it, and as I learned more about the New Aesthetic, of which this piece of furniture is a part, I realized it has a very basic thing in common with Eichlers and their ilk. Just as Eichlers purposefully blur the line between indoor and outdoor, between constructed space and natural space, so does the New Aesthetic blur the line between real life and digital. For many of us, the digital world is as real an element of our life as the physical environment of our home or the landscape outside our window. And this kind of design plays on that in a similar way to those retro-futurist homes.
Writer James Bridle puts it better than I can in his report from a 2012 panel on the New Aesthetic at South by Southwest:
One of the core themes of the New Aesthetic has been our collaboration with technology, whether that’s bots, digital cameras or satellites (and whether that collaboration is conscious or unconscious), and a useful visual shorthand for that collaboration has been glitchy and pixelated imagery, a way of seeing that seems to reveal a blurring between “the real” and “the digital”, the physical and the virtual, the human and the machine. It should also be clear that this ‘look’ is a metaphor for understanding and communicating the experience of a world in which the New Aesthetic is increasingly pervasive.
The glitch piece, by Ferrucio Laviani, is part of a new collection for the company Fratelli Boffi. It's going to be shown at the 2013 Salone del Mobile, in Italy. So for most of us, this picture is the closest we'll come. Thank goodness for non-glitchy photographs.