Artificial Life
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Artificial Life • Posted: May 16, 2008 10:09:24Comments WelcomeVote CoolPhotoblogsPurchase a PrintShare

I confess, I do not understand the attraction of cute furry and feathered creatures rendered in porcelain. By name the class might be referred to as knickknacks or tchotchkes; perhaps lawn ornaments if they are life size.

While I'd consider art to be largely the realization or expression of something in the artist's head, tchotchkes would seem to be more the realization or expression of something in the purchaser's head. Imagine the purchaser to be the creator and lead actor in a play. Tchotchkes apparently serve as the other actors in a story known, understood, and appreciated only by the purchaser. A child playing alone with toy soldiers in a sandbox wouldn't be much different.

It's an interesting problem to think about creating something so generic that it might equally serve as stand in for a multitude of different purposes. Economists, design engineers, and marketing theorists have a term they use for just such a product: widgets. Similarly, mathematicians use the terms x and y. Rather sad to think tchotchkes stand in for so many unfathomable things missing from so many lives.

On the other hand, it isn't unusual at all for people to attempt modifying their own personal environment to their personal liking. I'd say most of us do it. What seems so odd and almost creepy in this case is the vacant attentiveness of the expressions given all the figures, as if all were awaiting word from their master the spell that has forever frozen their bodies and souls will be rescinded.

Tuesday, March 25th, 2008
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