Deconstructing the iPad

iPad Teardown
Source: iFixit.com: iPad Teardown

I found this photo to be unexpectedly beautiful. Without any context, it seems to be an art piece, a reaction against consumerism, the curtains pulled back on the Wizard of Oz. It’s none of the above intentionally, and yet the more I thought about it, the more I realized how nicely it encapsulates several themes in tension.

First is the irony that someone, somewhere (presumably on the other side of the world) painstakingly put together this piece of groundbreaking technology, only so that someone, somewhere on this side of the world could take it apart.

Second, for a device heralded as the second-coming of top-down/canned/mainstream media, to see its “unraveling” exhibited on a niche site that exists solely to take hardware apart and show you what’s inside, is something that’s hard to imagine without the decentralized, user-generated, distributed nature of the web.

Third, it’s amusing how the act of disassembling something powerful (almost magical), in a way emasculates it, knocking it from a pedestal its creator works so hard to preserve.

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