The problem with innovation is that people believe they know what the problems are, and so become hostages.
Christopher Jobson recently posted the video here to his phenomenally successful visual culture website Colossal. Watching inventor-artist Dominic Wilcox, I was reminded not only of the long history of absurdest comedy - Monty Python of course leapt to mind - but also of the Japanese practice of 'chindōgu,' or of purposely making a product hard or embarrassing to use.
Chindōgu are sometimes described as 'unuseless' – that is, they cannot be regarded as 'useless' in an absolute sense, since they do actually solve a problem; however, in practical terms, they cannot positively be called 'useful'.
Whether by charming us or challenging our ideas of utility, Dominic Wilcox's nonsense inventions and "unuselessness" of chindōgu work because they target the most formidable barrier to discovery - our assumptions about how things are. The use of absurdity and humor allows the human mind to bypass a certain fixedness of thought. In so doing, we avoid becoming hostages to the problem.
The "reverse bungee" is a delightfully unexpected way of thinking about bungee jumping. Watch the video.
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