2013-03-05

Co.Exist

The DRM Chair Self-Destructs After Just 8 Uses

Meant to show the absurdity of digital rights management software that limits where and how often you can use digital content, this chair starts getting dangerous the more you use it.

Useful, perhaps, as a prop in the world’s most aggressive game of musical chairs, The DRM chair is a seat that self-destructs after it’s felt the presence of a pre-set number of derrieres.

But the name (in case you didn’t get the reference) hints at a more political intent for the chair: DRM stands for digital rights management—those pay-walls and other technological barriers that websites and publishers throw up to protect their digital content. Like the New York Times website after your 10th free article of the month, the chair dissolves into an unworkable mess after too many people use it. Best of all, it literally melts at the hinges, as if acid has somehow emerged from inside its joints.

The chair was created as an entry for The Deconstruction, a decentralized hackathon that brought together teams from around the world via livestreaming video to create something (anything, really) in response to the topic of "deconstruction"—over the course of 48 hours.

The contest seems seriously unserious, which provides some context for the useful unusefulness of the DRM Chair. As its website encourages:

Think of one or two words that represent something that needs to be rethought, or would be fun to rethink. It can be a specific object, an idea, a genre … What in your world would you like to see “Deconstructed”? It could be serious, or utterly ridiculous.  Also, you can change your topic mid-event.

Lucky for us, the DRM chair team (the best-looking and best-dressed hackathon team I think anyone’s seen) stuck with their topic long enough to create this rad video.

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