The Art of the Factory

For his new project, Err, artist Jeremy Hutchison contacted various factories around the world, and asked if one of their workers would produce an ‘incorrect’ version of the product they make every day: in doing so, the functional objects became artworks.

Untitled (High Heels), Qing Li, Lina International Shoes Ltd, Huizhou, China

For his new project, Err, artist Jeremy Hutchison contacted various factories around the world, and asked if one of their workers would produce an ‘incorrect’ version of the product they make every day: in doing so, the functional objects became artworks.

“I asked them to make me one of their products, but to make it with an error,” Hutchison explains. “I specified that this error should render the object dysfunctional. And rather than my choosing the error, I wanted the factory worker who made it to choose what error to make. Whatever this worker chose to do, I would accept and pay for.”

Untitled (Chair), Lee Ming, ShowOwn Ltd, Hangzhou, China

Untitled (Shovel), Henryk Wegner, Romanik Tools S.A., Gdansk, Poland

“[Err is] about creating deliberate miscommunication,” continues Hutchison, “forging a moment of poetry within a hyper-efficient system of digital exchange. It’s about an invisible global workforce, and their connection to the relentless regurgitation of stuff. It’s about Duchamp and the readymade, but updated to exist within the context of today’s globalised economy. It’s about the rub between art and design, the mass-produced and unique, the functional and the dysfunctional.”

Untitled (Comb), Mr Kartick, Mr Ram, Mr Vikash, Star Creations Ltd, Kolkata, India

Untitled (Sunglasses), Mr King, Wenzhou Yidao Optical Co, Ltd, Wenzhou, China

The resulting new products Hutchison received vary enormously. Some are simply objects that have been destroyed, such as the chair, from a factory in China. Others are more playful: a shovel with its handle inverted, a pipe with no space to stuff tobacco.

Untitled (Pipe), Soner Demirel, Pipsan Pipes, Istanbul, Turkey

Untitled (Trumpet), Lie Liu, Tianjin Jessy Musical Instrument Co, Ltd, Tianjin, China

Hutchison has kept all of the correspondence with the factories as part of the project. As might be imagined, many of the initial emails express confusion. Shown below are two of the emails he received, including one with the apt enquiry, “are you joking, sir?”

Even more intriguing is some of Hutchison’s later correspondence regarding how the individual workers felt about the project. Lee Ming, the Chinese worker who destroyed the chair, is said to have initially tried to “destroy it with a big stone”, before using a cutting machine. The person writing to Hutchison on behalf of Lee Ming then reports that “the feeling is great he said after he cut the chair piece to piece”.

Untitled (Ladder), Jack Lee, Shijiazhuang Dadaoyuan Trading Co, Ltd, Shijiazhuang, China

Untitled (Walking Stick), Carlos Barrachina, FCA Segorbina de Bastones, SL, Segorbe, Spain

Err will be exhibited in London as part of a group show at Paradise Row gallery, which opens on July 8. More info on the show is here, while info on Hutchison’s other projects can be found at jeremyhutchison.com.

 

CR in Print

Thanks for reading the CR Blog but, if you’re not also getting the printed magazine, we think you are missing out. This month’s bumper July issue contains 60 pages of great images in our Illustration Annual plus features on Chris Milk, Friends With You and the Coca-Cola archive.

If you would like to buy this issue and are based in the UK, you can search for your nearest stockist here. Based outside the UK? Simply call +44(0)207 292 3703 to find your nearest stockist. Better yet, subscribe to CR for a year here and save yourself almost 30% on the printed magazine and get Monograph.

You may also like

comeonbuddysmall_0.jpg - All you gotta do is pick up a weapon - 3438

All you gotta do is pick up a weapon

In an attempt to re-engage design with social and political issues, new exhibition Information is Currency looks set to articulate some true 21st century concerns within the gallery space

hungry_book_cover_0.jpg - innocent's new Hungry? book - 3474

innocent’s new Hungry? book

Does the world really need a new cook book? Probably not. However, smoothie brand innocent’s new recipe book, entitled Hungry? (published by 4th Estate, £20) really is rather good. Warning: this post may make you hungry!

kitching1388_0.jpg - The Concise Letterpress Typography Workshop - 3473

The Concise Letterpress Typography Workshop

This September, designer Alan Kitching will be hosting two of his workshops which focus on the fundamentals of typography and make full use of the letterpress equipment based at his London shop

stride_0.jpg - Stride Gum's Recordbreaking Challenge - 3457

Stride Gum’s Recordbreaking Challenge

To emphasise the long-lasting flavour of Stride Gum, JWT New York has set a series of ludicrous records and is challenging Facebook users to break them…

parragon_115x115

Packaging Designer

Parragon Books
pilbrowandpartners

Junior Graphic Designer

Pilbrow & Partners
gardenesque_115x115

Designer

Gardenesque
Hand3 copy

Photography Annual

Showcase your photography work to over a million people in more than 80 countries, across every segment of the creative industry.

Enter here