Dan Tobin Smith wants your kipple

Photographer Dan Tobin Smith is asking the public to donate unwanted items for a 200-metre artwork that will be installed at his studio during London Design Festival.

Photographer Dan Tobin Smith is asking the public to donate unwanted items for a 200-metre artwork that will be installed at his studio during London Design Festival.

The First Law of Kipple will feature thousands of everyday objects, arranged chromatically to create a ‘sweeping sea of graduated colour’ on the floor of the photographer’s studio in East London. Visitors will be able to walk through the artwork via a series of paths, and Tobin Smith will be making prints of the installation and hosting kipple-themed supper clubs in the space during the festival.

The project is inspired by Philip K Dick’s novel, Do Androids Dream of Sheep, in which the author describes kipple as a byproduct of everyday life – “useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match”.

Tobin Smith undertook a similar project to create the cover of Mark Miodownik’s book, Stuff Matters, which featured an image of colour coded objects arranged over a two-day shoot (read our blog post on the making of the cover here):

“I’ve been reading Philip K DIck since I was fourteen…and that word ‘kipple’ always stuck with me. Everybody has some experience of kipple — It can mean clutter, but it also has a psychological aspect because of the way waste or clutter affects you,” explains Tobin Smith.

“It inspired me to start thinking about design and products — we make so much stuff but we’ve got limited resources. Often it’s bound up with taste, we think because it’s beautiful it’s okay, but if it’s useless, it’s useless,” he adds.

The deadline for donations is August 7 and items can range from matchbox to chair sized. Tobin Smith has also published a kipple checklist at callforkipple.com. After the festival, objects will be put in storage before the artwork is reassembled in other cities.

The First Law of Kipple opens on September 13 at Dan Tobin Smith Studio, 52c Whitmore Road, London N1 5QG. For details, see callforkipple.com or londondesignfestival.com.

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