Making potatoes into plastic

There’s an artist in Germany Jerszy Seymor who adds milk to potatoes, heats up the liquid, and it turns into plastic! Amazing! Then he makes little chairs and stuff out of the plastic.

Nora Schmidt of kidsmodern.com wrote about Jerszy’s work, here’s a clipping:

However, what at first looks like a playful experiment is based on a very serious idea. How is it possible today for people to live an autonomous life and take care of their own needs? Seymour, who grew up in Canada, looks for answers at a design level.

After many years of experience as a designer of objects in plastic, which were partly produced with complex moulds, Seymour, who clearly attaches a great deal of importance to freedom, asked himself the question of how designers can free themselves from the restrictions imposed by production. With his do-it-yourself experiments he has released himself from production processes which are becoming ever more complex and opaque, reflecting afterwards on the design autonomy which this provides.

The interpretations of this piece are rather out there. So the fact that he dribbles the plastic instead of using a mold talks about design autonomy? Uh no. Design autonomy does not come from freeing yourself from your tools, but becoming so familiar with your tools that they become an extension of yourself. Where you become so good with your tools that you can fully express yourself using those tools.

Merely cutting yourself off from modern technology is just a cop-out for not spending the time to learn the tools. And then to say it’s in the name of freedom? It’s freedom from having to work. Not freedom of expressing yourself, because you only do a crappier job expressing yourself when you don’t know your tools.

Every artist of the potato knows the importance of getting into the dirt and using the tools at your disposal. If one were to dig holes in the ground, would one say, “oh I’m not using the shovel for my expression of freedom?” No the artist of the potato gladly uses the shovel to dig dirt.

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Eliana Briones
Eliana Briones
16 years ago

I’d like the receipe?

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