iPod iBreak

iPods are digital hamsters. They're small, they're cute, you want to hold them in your hand. But after a couple of years, they die. For a little while, you're sad, you're confused, you wonder why it had to die so soon. But then you go out and get a new one.

With iPods, like most products these days, it's usually cheaper to buy a new one than get your broken model fixed. So out it goes. And in comes a shiny, new model, with the new ultracool feature that you've been drooling over. But what happens to the iPod you threw out?

Stay Free magazine is calling out to artists - and owners of broken iPods - in a new project called iFrod. Here's how it works...

We hereby announce that Stay Free! is seeking artists and (broken) ipods for an upcoming project about planned obsolescence. Why does the portable player widely considered the hallmark of savvy design typically die in little over a year? Are ipods "made to break"? Or simply, as some critics have suggested, run-of-the-mill e-waste?

If you know someone who owns an iPod, chances are good that you know someone with a broken ipod. Environment groups have taken Apple to task for its dirty practices, and we'd like to join them -- by making lemonade out of lemons.

Here's what we're looking for:


Transform your broken ipod into something deliciously useless: finger puppet? toy car? coaster? Use your creatively to come with something beautiful, funny, or otherwise engaging. Take a photo and email it us with your contact information at temporary181 at stayfreemagazine.org. Favorite projects will be featured in Stay Free! and ultimately exhibited in New York (venue TBA).

Artists unable to find a broken ipod should contact us for assistance (though, due to our limited resources, we recommend asking your peers first).

Deadline: *** Friday, December 8 ***


Don't have time to create something but want to help? Please donate your broken ipods to Stay Free!, a nonprofit organization. Donations are tax deductible. We'll distribute broken ipods to working local artists for this project.


Stay Free!
23 Hawthorne Street
Brooklyn, NY 11225

Get the full details here and stay tuned updates on iPod waste/art over at the iFrod site.

This whole project reminds me of a book that's on my list to read - Made to Break by Giles Slade, all about how industries create shorter and shorter life cycles for products so we buy more and more - and throw out more and more and more. You can read more about this book on So Misguided, with links to several reviews.

Lindsay  – (November 05, 2006)  

Digital hamsters? You're a genius.

Anonymous –   – (November 05, 2006)  

Made to Break is the book that inspired the project. Thanks for linking us.

Monique  – (November 10, 2006)  

I too love digital hamsters. I'll have to let Giles know about the art project. Very cool.

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