Ah, the eternal debate over what constitutes a “toy.” We’re again seeing it as musicians snap up the cheap, smartly-designed keytar for Rock Band 3. (That should make a nice visual controller, too, though perhaps visuals are really the perfect application for the guitar.)
Whether an iPhone is a toy camera could be in doubt, but Barbie leaves nothing to chance. The video above is nothing if not a brilliant parody of the massive relativism of today’s capture devices. It made the rounds when it came out a couple of months ago, but I post it in the sincere hope that it compels someone to go VJ with this thing. (Hell, if I got a gig at the right party, I sure as heck would. If only you could get a live feed out of it?)
And if this doesn’t demonstrate digital cameras as commodity, I don’t know what does. (Okay, having the price be a little less than $60 might help.)
Relativity and fidelity seem to be the major issues of our age, from the cheap plastic cameras like the Holga and Diana to intentionally-glitched digital to DIY electronics. Of course, as artists, our job isn’t simply to settle in the dull middle. It’s to go (to go boldly) to extremes.
For more of the blandness that inspired this, here’s the video this is parodying:
And a review of the Barbie Video Camera, which I expect ranks quite high on the list of things you don’t expect to be doing when you work for The Wall Street Journal – watching kids playtest this is priceless:
Side note: who doesn’t want AA batteries in their leg? The New York Times had an x-ray Barbie that any cyborg-loving geek will appreciate, revealing how this thing works.
Of course, true DIYers will build their own creepy camera, so — can you top Mattel? (I’m betting on … no.)