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Object of My Affection

custom phone cases for material speculation


Exhibited at Unravel the Code 2021

Few things are more intimate than our smartphones, an artificial object we cradle, speak into, hold up to our faces and even fall asleep with. Yet most of these physical interactions are engineered by consumer culture technicians. Object of My Affection is a collection of custom cases for smartphones that invite the viewer to touch in playful new ways. By remeshing the phone, the case becomes a site of material imagination, a speculative and theatrical prosthetic. Touch is unique because of the fluidity we feel with the touched object, the object touching back, undrawing the boundaries between self and other.

Object of My Affection began as a series of sketches for possible new gestures and motions involving smartphones. These sketches became the basis for CAD models that could be 3-D printed. After several iterations (and one somewhat ill-fated attempt at casting the cases in silicone) the 3-D printed objects were finished by using a combination of spray paint and clear coating to provide color and texture. Two working phone cases were created, as well as a series of smaller, even more speculative prototypes.