Phobias, fears on a screensaver.


07.10.03 Phobias, fears on a screensaver.

Using an object in unintended ways is one of the peculiarities of hacking and of art and, besides the ingenuity of finding a way to use it full of important meanings, involves the difficult relationship with the normal use of the object. Phobias is a screensaver which, with its contents, conceptually subverts the usual style of relaxed entertainment of this kind of software, devised to communicate the state of inactivity of a computer. On the screen appears, written in red gothic fonts, a list of terms, extracted from a long list of phobias, in their chilling medical/scientific definitions, which stops every second to allow the user to read it. The succession of fears makes the user feel more and more fragile, while he’s forced to confront with his deepest weaknesses, while doubts and senses of insecurity painfully emerge. This collection of Achille’s heels, in this cruel animation, subverts the state of ‘sleep’ of the machine, making it active and angry at the humanity in front of it, in a sort of revenge. Made by Dave McDougal and Steve Lawler of the laboratory Fabrica, Phobias is available for Apple and PC computers.