The problems of modern life are well-documented, from crises on a global scale – economic turmoil and environmental collapse – to those on a more personal level – malfunctioning electronic devices and overcrowded subways – meaning that even on the best days, maintaining a cheery outlook can require a complicated cocktail of different defense mechanisms. But when achieving this delicate mental balance becomes a stressful act in and of itself, we’re left with few adult choices that allow us to “act out” without turning too many heads.
To that end, we especially appreciated the Anger Release Machine created by artists Katja Kublitz and Ronnie Yarisal. The pair has converted a snack vending machine into a dispenser of cheap psychological therapy, filling the rows with various breakable tschotskes that invite passerbys to vent their frustrations for a few coins each. Simply insert money into the slot, make a selection and wait for the sound of the satisfying crash as the vase or ceramic cat hits the deck.
While it might not be the most sustainable method for airing our grievances, it certainly is a playful one. We also think the project serves as an apt metaphor for our increasing disconnect with the physical world, particularly as we spend more time escaping online. Though something tells us that smashing virtual objects wouldn’t feel nearly as good.