CUBA/ ERNESTO OROZA AND THE CUBANS’ TECHNOLOGICAL DISOBEDIENCE

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The term Technological Disobedience was recently coined by the Cuban artist and designer Ernesto Oroza to summar

ize and describe the unique way in which his compatriots relate to technology: pressured and constrained by a crisis that is hitting harder and harder, and with no industry in the country, the average Cuban survives by totally disrespecting, surpassi

ng and completely violating the “authority” and often even very complex technology of the objects that are still lingering around, thinking far beyond the capacities and uses these objects were originally meant for by their producer. Partially supported by the authorities, that even produced manuals on the subject, their audacity reaches that far that many even put their own life at risk, as is the case with the Rikimbili or improvised motorcycles. Nevertheless: scarcity has provided them with a creative richness that so-called technologically advanced countries have totally lost. And now that the crisis starts to globalize, it makes the average Cuban also much better prepared for the future – Max Borka reports. All images © Ernesto Oroza:

In the same way in which an experienced surgeon has become insensitive to blood and org

ans, Cuban inventiveness has broken with all limitations, aesthetic, legal, or economic – says Oroza, an industrial designer by training who -after he discovered that there was no work available anyway – made it his mission to travel the island, collecting the objects: “Used to seeing everything from the inside, dismantled, the symbols that make an object into a unique entity – for a Cuban they simply don’t exist.” As is also demonstrated by the books and exhibitions Oroza devoted to the subject, such as Objets Réinventés or Rikimbili: the economy that results is an incredibly imaginative and beautiful one, turning a serving tray into an antenna, and even updating a black and white television by coloring the screen with paint. “The people have become their own producer, constantly reinventing,” says Oroza, “and the liberation that comes with it is first and foremost a moral one”.(mb) w

ww.ernestooroza.com

The Work of Ernesto Oroza will be highlighted at the Mapping the Design World Meeting Point at Reciprocity, the Design Biennial for Social Innovation in Liege, Belgium, from October 5 through October 28 2012, and will also feature in the accompanying MAP-Mapping the Design World magazine – focusing on some 100 examples of (Do) Good Design

from an equal number of countries.

Ernesto Oroza also comes to create a polo on which –much to the principles of Technological Disobedience- he has appropriated a Ernesto Che Guevara quote – Obrero construye tu maquinaria! (Worker, build your own machinery!) – while leaving the Guevara’s last name out. Embroidered with the help of little locals shops that customize uniforms and working gear, the polo’s can be ordered via the following link.

http://textosmoire.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47&Itemid=1#ecwid:category=1619021&mode=product&product=14797372

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