Celine Marcq’s Inconspicuous Matter Wallpaper
Celine Marcq's Inconspicuous Matter wallpaper is the latest in a growing trend of products that respond to electrical stimulation. Previously, this concept has taken the form of Nuno Erin's Touch Sensitive Wall Panels and the Piezo Shower. Thanks to innovations in piezoelectric and acoustical fibers (see the profile of MIT's Piezoelectric Fibers), these touch and sound-sensitive filaments can now be woven into A and D products to create a new degree of exciting interactivity. So what to do with fibers that can "sing"? With strands of extruded plastic that move or illuminate when exposed to electrical stimulation?
Inconspicuous Matter Wallpaper. Designed by Celine Marcq.
Marcq's answer is to employ them to heighten awareness of electrical consumption, while creating a semi-hallucinatory display of spontaneous interactions among electrons. The very notion of a visual representation of excitable matter is certainly exciting, and the reality of Marcq's matter does not disappoint. This "ambient display of what happens when you flip on a light switch" is a mad zig-zag in tones of black, deep blue, and algae-green-an impromptu decoration that looks as if some millennial incarnation of Jackson Pollack had gone at the wall with buckets of electro-luminescent paint.
The effect also reminds me of those concentric bands of color you see when you press on an old-school laptop or any common LCD screen. Marcq's hope with Inconspicuous Matter is that this visual representation of electricity helps us to change wasteful habits: "Electrical energy access is, for most people, taken for granted… The aim of this project is to visualize electrical energy flows, consequently demanding the viewers' attention and potentially generating their awareness." IM has certainly captured my awareness, but I fear the mesmerizing product may have the opposite effect. The “Rorschachian Patterns” are simply to cool to stop looking, thus requiring every ounce of our collective eco-consciousness to flip off the switch and slowly back away.