Room, Albert Baronian


Albert Baronian, Brussels, BE

A recent front page of a British tabloid reported the story of an Englishman who on opening the packaging to his brand new iPad, discovered his tablet took the form of three lumps of clay. Upon complaining the unlucky customer was compensated by being arrested on suspicion of fraud. This is no joke.

Who wouldn't be disappointed by such contents, when the surface of the box says what is to be expected. But I have a lot of empathy for the three clumps of clay. Humble and silent in this position they represent something that’s absent, they stand in for something that they are not. In mismatched packaging they are phony. You can’t plug clay in and make it function like a touch screen device. Clay will not flash, light up or display pixels. A revaluation is needed. Pieces of clay require imagination. Perhaps the man should have enjoyed the more difficult approach to the predicament he was in, and asked himself in which way these pieces of clay could take the place of his tablet rather than where the device he wanted was. He would have had a struggle, both emotionally and imaginatively, but perhaps he could have been lead down an unknown path, and most certainly dodged arrest.*

At the end of the day the three pieces of clay are exactly what they are. No one should be disappointed by them, as long as you don’t put them in a box advertising there is something inside other than three pieces of clay.

*The tablet was eventually found in Wales

F. Mackay