• ( egoistic ) • activistic • architectural • audible • cinematic • conceptual • graphic • strategic • surface • urban • wireless
Posted by Sebastian on Feb 15, 2005
The Return Policy Project by Thomas Charveriat is a subliminal art-project that takes advantage of the return policies of electronic consumer products.
Charveriat purchased a series of everyday products, only to return them after modifying their functions. For instance, he bugged an electronic alarm clock which advanced 5- 6 seconds. The subsequent buyer was gaining a few seconds every day without even knowing it.
Any obvious modification to the product would be immediately detected by the user, in which case it would be returned to the retailer so, for the project to work, the modifications had to be very subtle.
The Return Policy Project challenges the notion of control in consumer society. The products that Charveriat altered would eventually become part of someone's environment, and slowly take control of his/her life, however subtle this control might be. A similar hack was made in 1993 by the Barbie Liberation Organization who modified the voices of G.I. Joes and Barbie dolls before returning them.