1. the iPod shuffle condenses everything that is most annoying and commercially effective into just over a square inch of sheet metal and plastic. the device is rudely mimetic – the body is small and parasitic and all the same effacing and the dial looks a little like a face – it all seems helpless and suggestive of a lurking anthropomorphism rather than crisp assembly line origins.
2. but there is no face – there must be a face, the absence of the face differentiates, yet the face becomes sublimated as the iPod’s physical differences shift in response to the fundamental spirit of the iPod itself (for there is a hierarchy, a taxonomy), and it only makes sense to understand this faceless thing as equally sentient as the touch, as the classic, as the nano. a blind and faceless entity that speaks to you of its contents through earphones – a voice and the hidden face – where does this rely in relation to the norm? above below to the side?
3. so beautifully crafted to have such limited utility, and for such limitation then to be marketable as efficiency. but efficiency of construction is divorced from the ‘natural’ which must concern the physical obeisance to the very nature of its existence, the call of Use. Here Use is robbed from user, Use is objective fact that manifests as the Subject within the object that cannot be seen yet stares back with whatever we have and lack. And this is the problem that the device could be so hubristic as to posit itself as essentially surpassing humanity in its ability to elevate and idealize the inert and hidden as self-contained and objective. Faith-metal.