Student Work

  • Photography (MFA)

    Berk Cakmakci

    Unboxing videos

    Our dependency on technology defines and transforms our desires and fetishes. Breaking down and reassembling the ways technology is marketed and consumed allows me to further understand its psychological and emotional impacts on the individual. With this body of work, I am exploring my relationship with technology through the documented accounts of other people. "User Experience (UX)" is a window to our innermost desires and our collective, techno-scarred psyche.

    There are millions of self-produced videos on YouTube of people unboxing and reviewing a wide range of products. ‘Unboxing videos’ are where candid emotions and reactions break out, unlike in expertly produced and scripted commercials. Free from the corporate gloss and glamour, these videos are the vernacular of our everyday relationship with technology. Videos of unboxing are edited together with videos of destruction. Obsolete devices like old laptops, cameras etc. are destroyed by being brutally torn to pieces, dropped from heights, and shot at, amongst other methods. These videos function almost in a pornographic way. What I am most attracted to is the lack of purpose, the aimlessness; destruction, for the sake of destruction. Feelings of guilt, excitement, shame, arousal, pleasure, empathy, fear and disdain all coalesce into a haze of confusing tranquility. Looking at it from this point of view, destruction becomes a dystopian form of escapism. More often than not, our interaction with technology is guided through our sense of hearing as well as sight and touch. As such, I am also producing soundtracks for the videos.