The New Aesthetic Resonates in Ferruccio Laviani’s “Good Vibrations”

Ferruccio-Laviani-723x1024In the brief commentary for, Janelle Zara shares her thoughts about an especially interesting work of art by Ferruccio Laviani.

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Gone are the days that a little wobble in a work of art conveyed the sense that it was melting. For the modern audience, the fluidity of objects in Robert Lazzarini’s body of work, for example, immediately registers instead as having been run through the computer and messed around with. As a nod to this sea change in perception, Italian designer Ferruccio Laviani has created the brilliantly disorienting Good Vibrations storage unit for Fratelli Boffi.

A photograph of the wooden cabinet looks a bit like a still from a film from a bootleg cable box: The ornately carved flourishes, evocative of ancient Indonesian royal architecture, are interrupted in two separate places where the wood seemingly waivers like a digital glitch — and never corrects itself. Do not adjust your set; it’s happening in real life. The effect is a continuation of Laviani’s inter-era theme, established last year with his first Fratelli Boffi collection. “F* THE CLASSICS!” as it was appropriately named, was a similarly subversive line of furnishings that hacked old-school forms with contemporary sensibilities. This year, the rejiggering was inspired by technology.

Good Vibrations is another addition to the so-called New Aesthetic, a favorite art movement of Internet philosophers characterized by themes of hacking and general digital malfunction. As references to the digital abound in the design world — pixelated toys, unfinished carpet downloads, iPhone application loveseats, and the like — they signal an end to the idea of digital culture. Now, it’s just culture.

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