Paraphernoia

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Material Information

Title:
Paraphernoia
Physical Description:
Project in lieu of thesis
Creator:
Kubisz, Joshua Caine ( Dissertant )
Roberge, Celeste ( Thesis advisor )
Vega, Sergio ( Reviewer )
Miller, Sean ( Reviewer )
Mueller, Robert ( Reviewer )
Publisher:
College of Fine Arts, University of Florida
Place of Publication:
Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date:

Notes

Abstract:
This project, Paraphernoia, investigates issues related to the commodification of fear. In an effort to establish a critique of society, I have been drawing on references to modernist art movements ranging from suprematism, constructivism, and the Bauhaus, to American popular culture of the nineteen fifties. Inspired by mass cultural paranoia brought on by the Cold War and the contemporary threat of Terrorism, the project consists of highly crafted replicas and completely functional objects that exist somewhere between fictitious and real worlds. Paraphernoia is a term that I use to describe products that are marketed by companies and purchased by consumers in response to paranoia or fear. Through my own design of furniture and products, I examine mediated fear as a cultural phenomenon that creates an ideology of progress and the idea of hope with its promise of fulfillment. The project investigates the media’s ability to propagate new fears and challenges the motives of global corporations that capitalize on the resultant paranoia. The research involves the establishment of my own company, Home Safe, which allows me to take the position of inventor and president. I explore my own psychological questions concerning our desperate need to feel safe and protected by proposing absurd solutions to the real and constructed fears that exist in contemporary society in the United States. In an investigation of these concepts, I have produced a promotional expo showcasing my products that provide solutions to a variety of fears and paranoias. The exhibition consists of miniature replicas as well as full-scale, working prototypes of my company’s product line. Acrylic encased displays with mirrored bases present miniature replicas including five of my furniture solutions. Inspired by mid-century ingenuity and design, the aesthetics of my products allude to a time when fear and paranoia were epitomized. Exploring obsessive fears about personal safety, choking, germs, personal space, and personal freedom, the project includes my design solutions for the Heimlich Chair, No Choke Chair, Germicidal Table, Personal Space Sofa, Claustrophobia Escape Couch, and the Portable Smokeless Station. The furniture objects appear hopeful and harmless yet to the uncertain viewer, they are instilled with fears and anxieties.
General Note:
Sculpture terminal project

Record Information

Source Institution:
University of Florida Institutional Repository
Holding Location:
University of Florida
Rights Management:
All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
System ID:
AA00001598:00001


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Full Text
PARAPHERNOIA
By
JOSHUA CAINE KUBISZ
SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE: PROF. CELESTE ROBERGE, CHAIR PROF. SERGIO VEGA, MEMBER ASST PROF. SEAN MILLER, MEMBER ASSOC. PROF. ROBERT MUELLER, MEMBER
A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011
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2011 Joshua Caine Kubisz
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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
I would like to thank my father, John B. Kubisz, for his support and for believing in me; for that, I am infinitely grateful. I would also like to thank my loving wife for being my unofficial and severely underpaid studio assistant; through all the years of costly projects, endless days, and panic-stricken art crises, she has stood by me and has been untiring. For being my motivation, giving me purpose, and for making me laugh, I thank my adoring children, Jordan and Jocelyn. Thank you Jake, my twin brother, for being the eternal optimist and reminding me, time and again, that anything is possible. I would also like to express my gratitude to my committee members, Celeste Roberge, Sean Miller, Sergio Vega, and Bob Mueller; their insight, exceptional instruction, and critical advice has helped me to find my voice as an artist. A special thanks to Richard Heipp and Julia Morrisroe for showing me what it truly means to be an artist.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 3
LIST OF FIGURES 5
ABSTRACT 6
INTRODUCTION: EXAMINING MEDIATED FEAR 8
DEFINING "PARAPHERNOIA" 10
HOME SAFE 13
NO CHOKING MATTER 16
OUR SMALLEST ENEMIES 21
A CLAUSTROPHOBIC NATION 24
SMOKE'EM IF YOU GOT'EM 27
CONCLUSION: BACK TO REALITY 29
EPILOGUE 30
APPENDIX 31
BIBLIOGRAPHY 35
BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 36
FIGURES 37
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LIST OF FIGURES
Figure Page
1 Lenticular advertisements with backlit displays 37
2 Miniature, exacting replicas of safety furniture in acrylic encased displays 37
3 The Heimlich Chair 38
4 The No Choke Chair 39
5 The Germicidal Table (opened) 40
6 The Germicidal Table (closed) 40
7 The Personal Space Sofa (front view) 41
8 The Personal Space Sofa (back view) 41
9 The Claustrophobia Escape Couch (front view) 42
10 The Claustrophobia Escape Couch (back view) 42
11 The Portable Smokeless Station 43
12 The Portable Smokeless Station (detail) 44
13 Fear and Hope Expo 2011 45
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Summary of Project Option in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts
PARAPHERNOIA By
Joshua Caine Kubisz May 2011
Chair: Celeste Roberge Major: Art
This project, Paraphemoia, investigates issues related to the commodification of fear. In an effort to establish a critique of society, I have been drawing on references to modernist art movements ranging from suprematism, constructivism, and the Bauhaus, to American popular culture of the nineteen fifties. Inspired by mass cultural paranoia brought on by the Cold War and the contemporary threat of Terrorism, the project consists of highly crafted replicas and completely functional objects that exist somewhere between fictitious and real worlds.
Paraphemoia is a term that I use to describe products that are marketed by
companies and purchased by consumers in response to paranoia or fear. Through my
own design of furniture and products, I examine mediated fear as a cultural
phenomenon that creates an ideology of progress and the idea of hope with its promise
of fulfillment. The project investigates the media's ability to propagate new fears and
challenges the motives of global corporations that capitalize on the resultant paranoia.
The research involves the establishment of my own company, Home Safe, which allows
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me to take the position of inventor and president. I explore my own psychological questions concerning our desperate need to feel safe and protected by proposing absurd solutions to the real and constructed fears that exist in contemporary society in the United States.
In an investigation of these concepts, I have produced a promotional expo showcasing my products that provide solutions to a variety of fears and paranoias. The exhibition consists of miniature replicas as well as full-scale, working prototypes of my company's product line. Acrylic encased displays with mirrored bases present miniature replicas including five of my furniture solutions. Inspired by mid-century ingenuity and design, the aesthetics of my products allude to a time when fear and paranoia were epitomized. Exploring obsessive fears about personal safety, choking, germs, personal space, and personal freedom, the project includes my design solutions for the Heimlich Chair, No Choke Chair, Germicidal Table, Personal Space Sofa, Claustrophobia Escape Couch, and the Portable Smokeless Station. The furniture objects appear hopeful and harmless yet to the uncertain viewer, they are instilled with fears and anxieties.
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INTRODUCTION: EXAMINING MEDIATED FEAR
"We are living a fusion of real and unreal time, an ongoing undulation of overlays and intersections ... representational technologies have colonized our minds ... to the extent that our thoughts no longer wander around on their own, stocked only with materials drawn from direct experience, to the extent that they follow flows of representations instead-to just that extent that we don't think our own thoughts." -Thomas de Zengotita, Mediated
American susceptibility to the media is a consequence of our arrogance, a reflexive symptom that is caused by media exposure. The cure would require a complete separation from the world as it is lived and the world as it is mediated, seemingly inseparable; the virtual world, composed of television, radio and the Internet, has become impossibly fused with our reality. Author and anthropologist, Thomas de Zengotita suggests in Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It, that since the nineteen sixties Americans have lived in a "culture of reflexivity", and the media (television in particular) is responsible. We are repeatedly exposed to images that depict the individual as the "center of the universe" and we believe this to be our rightful place. The result of this narcissism is a detachment, and an inability to imagine our pre-mediated lives (de Zengotita, 129-74).
The facility to increase exposure and the immediacy of the information make the media a dangerous weapon. A chance occurrence has the possibility of being publicly broadcast and, within seconds, it can be on the mind of everyone that listens or watches. Improbable dangers can quickly mutate into likely threats that confront our desire to feel safe. The media enables newsmakers, global corporations, and charismatic visionaries to proliferate dubious concerns and use commercial
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advertisements to capitalize on the resultant paranoia. My focus is on the solutions to our fears that are materialized as commodities that come with promises and price tags. Then, money becomes the only obstacle that stands in the way of our safety.
This project investigates the absurdity of these fear-related products while examining the rationale behind the company and the consumer. Consumers respond to anxiety, enthused by the media and their own uncertainties; panic stimulates impulsiveness. The irrational probability of death due to an unusual set of circumstances is out weighed by the minute risk factor; a component that has been amplified by the media's ability to propagate this fear.
This investigation begins with a definition and brief history of paraphemoia. Then, I will discuss the founding of Home Safe, my company that is dedicated to protecting the public's safety by providing inconspicuous products that promise solutions for their various concerns. This investigation explores my own fears, creating a framework through which my products are inspired. By positioning myself as inventor and president of Home Safe, I am allowed a unique opportunity to hold an inside perspective; one that consumers don't often see. This is an important aspect of my investigation that permits me to take an unbiased position. My project seeks to uncover a basis for these fears and to determine the legitimacy of my concerns. Paraphemoia raises questions concerning the necessity for such products, whether or not they are practical, and it examines other, more ethereal purposes for their existence.
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DEFINING "PARAPHERNOIA"
"The only way to introduce passion...to actively mobilize people, is through fear." -Slavoj Zizek, Violence
As I sit to write this paper, the nightly news unfolds on my television. It is March 2011, the picture is live, delivered to the comfort of my home via satellite, and if I wish, I can switch to a dozen other channels or connect to the Internet in search of fresh perspectives. In this hi-tech world of twenty-four hour rolling news coverage, it is easy to take for granted the speed and immediacy of this information while, at the same time; neglecting to maintain a healthy sense of skepticism. Let's not forget that it was only a little more than seventy years ago when Orson Welles tapped into the subconscious fears of a nation and convinced thousands of people that Martians were invading the United States.
"In fact, we weren't as innocent as we meant to be when we did the Martian broadcast. We were fed up with the way in which everything that came over this new magic box, the radio, was being swallowed. So, in a way, our broadcast was an assault on the credibility of that machine. We wanted people to understand that they shouldn't swallow everything that came through the tap." -Orson Welles
Paraphemoia is a term that I use to describe products that are marketed by
companies and purchased by consumers in response to paranoia or fear. While the
term I use to designate these commodities is new, the concept is not. My investigation
examined paraphemoia that have cleverly made their appearance in the wake of terror
since the mid-nineteen hundreds. America in the nineteen fifties was desperate to be
optimistic again. By 1946 we had lived under the blanket of a general unhappiness for
nearly two decades, first with the Depression, then World War II. When those obstacles
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were finally removed, Americans were left in a continuing state of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition. The Cold War began a struggle for supremacy in nuclear warfare and the uneasy public was swathed in mass paranoia. Against the backdrop of escalating tensions with the Soviet Union, President Kennedy urged Americans to build bomb shelters in a speech he delivered on October 6, 1961.
"We owe that kind of insurance to our families and to our country. ... The time to start is now. In the coming months, I hope to let every citizen know what steps he can take without delay to protect his family in case of attack. I know you would not want to do less." -John F. Kennedy
The media picked up the message. For instance, the January 12, 1962 cover story of Life magazine depicted a story about "The Drive for Mass Shelters" with the hook, "New Facts You Must Know About Fallout." Over the next decade, more than one hundred thousand Americans prepared their own fallout shelters in their basements or backyards. How-to booklets proliferated, instructing people in the fine points of building their own shelters. The Douglas Fir Plywood Association in Tacoma, Washington advertised the following pitch:
"New from plywood research! Two effective family fallout shelters, well within the means and ability of the average homeowner to build. Fully approved by the Dept. of Defense. Both call for simple, economical construction with big panels of waterproof plywood combined with concrete block (Basement Shelter) or sand or gravel fill (Above-Ground Shelter.) Strong, safe, dependable, durable. Send 250 and coupon below for booklet with plans and information:"
Despite the gravity of the situation, companies still used this opportunity to drive sales up by marketing their product while using fear as the vehicle. Only one year later, true to our fears, the world hovered on the brink of full-scale nuclear war when the Cuban
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Missile Crisis erupted. During the tense thirteen-day crisis, some Americans prepared for nuclear war by buying up canned goods and completing last-minute work on their backyard bomb shelters.
As the sixties gave way to the seventies and the fear of nuclear war receded, fallout shelters were soon relegated to the status of a cultural relic, but the motive behind their existence continues to manipulate the consumer's market today. Notwithstanding the fact that most of these products were never used and, if they were, they would most likely have been ineffective, consumers continue to respond. Fear proved to be a successful marketing strategy. Businesses could get people to buy anything if they made them think that their lives might depend on it. You probably don't have to look much further than the glove box of your car to find some contemporary examples of paraphemoia. The "Life Hammer" or the pocket-sized version, the "ResQMe" keychain, has become standard equipment for most drivers. It is a device used to escape a sinking car by breaking a window. The advertisement for this product is quick to point out that, "The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates six hundred people die yearly in immersed vehicles". What they don't tell you is that the majority of these victims were disorientated, inebriated, or unconscious. In all three cases, the products wouldn't have mattered. Ineffective and unreliable, it would seem that the only purpose they serve is providing peace of mind.
The attacks of September 11, 2001 brought an entirely new security climate to the United States, and awarded unprecedented importance to the threat of terrorism. Once again, America is paralyzed by fear and, in an effort to feel safe; we allow our
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discretion to be compromised. Lawmakers and politicians use this opportunity to manipulate the public by pushing issues of security in front of the real problems. Autonomy and privacy become negotiable securities. Our preservation takes precedence, as Slavoj Zizek states in Violence, "Our narcissistic subjectivity experiences the self as vulnerable, constantly exposed to a multitude of potential threats. The ultimate goal of our lives is life itself."
HOME SAFE
In 2009, I established Home Safe in an effort to better understand the motives behind the corporations that explicitly design and market products intended for our protection. My company serves as the stage for my performance; my role is inventor, president, and concerned citizen. I am in charge of imagining, designing, and fabricating the products. In addition, I serve as the Chief Executive Officer, handling all public relations and product promotions. My first priorities were to design Home Safe's corporate image, develop a signature style, and declare a mission statement. A simple "H" and "S" in decorative script, centered on a solid color, circular background would become my trademark. Similar to the logo for General Electric (which hasn't changed much in the past century and is the fourth most recognized brand in the world), I wanted the symbol to be redolent and the design to be emblematic of the postwar period, the nineteen fifties in particular.
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For some, the nineteen fifties are remembered as America's Classic Era, a Utopia to be admired and emulated. Amidst a time when fear and paranoia were epitomized, the nation flourished. With its pioneering spirit, limitless energy, and seemingly endless possibilities, many Americans have adopted this era as the touchstone for the course of the nation. Stylistic conventions in architecture, furniture, and other commodities represented American society's fascination with Space Age themes and marketing emphasis on futuristic designs. Curvaceous, geometric shapes, resembling boomerangs and flying saucers, composed motels, coffee houses and bowling alleys. Homes were commonly well appointed with Scandinavian Contemporary furniture made of natural wood, composing utilitarian designs that employed straight lines and simple shapes. This mid-century, modern style was undoubtedly inspired by furniture designs from Isamu Noguchi's collaboration with the Herman Miller Company, which are often considered to be the most influential body of modern furniture ever produced and, now being the world's largest furniture retailer, IKEA, with their ready to assemble designs. I wanted to combine the aesthetics of both to create an original, modern-retro style that would eventually become characteristic of all Home Safe furniture. Noguchi believed that art should disappear and become one with its surroundings; much the same, I believe that my furniture should be attractive yet, unpretentious and without immediate reference to any function other than its obvious purpose.
Finally, Home Safe needed to be authenticated. I created a company website, www.homesafesolutions.info, which promotes my products and services. I publicize my website through the use of business cards and various promotional items, including Home Safe's hand sanitizers and germicidal face masks (a few more examples of
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paraphemoia that already exist). I advocate the success of my inventions through commercials, public demonstrations, and promotional expos. My adverts include backlit posters with animated lenticular motion, employing a technology that has been used in promotions since the nineteen forties (Fig. 1). Miniature, exacting replicas of all my safety furniture were created for the exhibition (Fig. 2). Similar to miniatures that were carried by traveling salesman since the early nineteen hundreds, my replicas allow easier transport and the ability to present my products to a larger audience. As the president of Home Safe, I personally believe that all of my products are necessary for surviving in today's dangerous world and I thoroughly believe in their effectiveness and ability to keep you safe.
Home Safe's Mission Statement:
"The fundamental mission of Home Safe is to protect the life of the customers we serve in a manner consistent with the highest ideals within our industry and to take advantage of those technological advancements that will help us succeed in that endeavor. We dedicate ourselves to providing unsurpassed, personalized, quality protection. Whether your safety concerns are large or small, we provide innovative solutions to suit your needs in emergency situations.
We look forward to the future with great confidence hoping to win over new clients and safety partners and want to thank all of our current customers for their support thus far.
In order to fulfill part of its mission, Home Safe has assigned specially qualified managerial personnel to keep abreast of the technological developments within the industry. They are empowered to adapt those technologies they find to be useful, and thus which will advance our goals. Additionally, we have implemented a policy of measured, steady growth, which will enable us to meet projected demand without ever degrading the quality of our service.
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Along the way we will evaluate, revise and recycle all plans as needed, while striving to be proactive in resolving any problems."
-Joshua Caine Kubisz, Inventor and President
NO CHOKING MATTER
One of my earliest experiences with choking happened when I was only five years old. My twin brother, Jake, was eating dinner at a local restaurant with my mother and me when he began choking on a piece of food. My mother quickly realized that he was unable to breathe and immediately began to panic. Unsure of what to do, she yelled, "Help! My son is choking!" A nearby man responded by jumping to his feet, wrapping his arms around the front of my brother's stomach, and violently hoisting him up off the ground while squeezing him. The Heimlich maneuver had just been introduced a few years earlier so I was unfamiliar with this action. It terrified me. As I began to cry, I heard my brother cough and gasp for air. Miraculously, the color returned to his oxygen-starved face and I was, at once, relieved and captivated by the amazing technique that saved his life. What would have become of my brother if no one were around to help him? This question haunted me and it became a fear that I would eventually have to face. Many years later, while eating at home alone, I began choking. Unable to scream for help, and with no one there to assist me, I felt helpless as I began to lose consciousness. I desperately ran to the door of my house and as I did, I tripped over a table's leg and landed hard on my side. The impact from the fall knocked the remaining air from my lungs and expelled the blockage from my airway. I had narrowly escaped death this time, but now the fear of choking became even more real and increasingly terrifying.
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Deaths from choking are ranked fourth among unintentional home injury fatalities and one third of the deaths due to choking are associated with food (The State of Home Safety in America, 2004). Choking is the kind of emergency in which the chance of getting yourself to a doctor in time is impossible. Without immediate help, you can die, or at least suffer permanent brain damage, within as little as four minutes. If you are choking and no one is present to aid you, the American Red Cross suggests that you can save your own life by pressing your fist into your abdomen with your other hand. Or lean forward to press your abdomen over a solid object such as a piece of furniture. They go on to explain that, although these methods are occasionally effective, they both have serious issues that can result in their impotence or causation of further harm. The effectiveness of pressing your fist into your stomach is directly dependent on your own physical strength and is abated by the lack of leverage employed by this method. A piece of furniture is designed to provide a sturdy back support and could cause serious injury to a persons rib cage or internal organs, such as the liver, if used to apply pressure to the abdomen (American Red Cross).
Given my personal experiences with choking, I made it one of Home Safe's first missions to invent a much-needed solution. To my knowledge, no device had ever been designed to effectively assist an individual in this type of emergency. Believing that the most successful approach to choking rescue was the Heimlich maneuver, I began my design with this technique in mind. I also believed that a piece of furniture could indeed serve as the platform on which to build; after all, most Americans are sitting down when they are eating.
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The process began by researching and learning the proper method and procedure to follow when administrating the Heimlich maneuver. With a series of sketches, I explored various configurations and determined that a chair was the most relevant form for this function. Several maquettes were then created to appreciate the visual application. After presenting my models in front of a test audience, a final design was determined and a full-scale, working prototype was created. The result was the Heimlich Chair, the first chair designed to correctly assist an individual with an emergency procedure that could potentially save their life in the event of a choking incident (Fig. 3). It is equipped with contoured handles for a secure grip, a precisely cushioned abdominal thrust point, and a tilt-back/height adjust system that automatically sets the appropriate angle for contact with the body. Researching the mechanism of the technique was the easy part the hardest part was making the technique available to the individual. Your life is now in your hands.
The name "Heimlich" was initially chosen in an effort to establish credibility for my product and assuredness for its efficacy. Dr. Henry Heimlich is considered to be one of America's greatest safety pioneers. Once referred to as "America's most famous doctor" (The New Republic), he enjoyed the status of a celebrity. His charismatic persona captured the trust and respect of every American, an accomplishment that became one of Home Safe's primary objectives. Shortly after the Heimlich Chair's public debut, Peter M. Heimlich, the son of Dr. Henry Heimlich, learned of my chair through Google News Alert and contacted me via email. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I responded to his inquiry and agreed to provide him with a photograph of the chair, which up until now, he hadn't seen. After receiving the image he sarcastically responded, "Great chair! Can
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I order a set of six and a matching dinette that performs CPR?" Later, in the same email, he reexamined the chair as a practical solution and commented that,
"We often eat alone therefore no one's around to rescue us if we choke -and our litigious society-bystanders may be unwilling to get involved in a medical emergency and risk getting sued. The 'Heimlich Chair' handily addresses both problems!" I learned, from a subsequent phone conversation, that Peter was researching and
writing a book with the intention of exposing his father, Dr. Henry Heimlich, as a medical
fraud. Crusaders against medical fraud are not unheard of but it was certainly unusual
to discover the primary accuser of Dr. Henry Heimlich is his own son. Holding a BS in
Journalism, Peter has researched and written extensively about his father's medical
activities. In fact, he has established a website dedicated to detailing his father's
questionable medical practices: http://medfraud.info.
"Facts prove that for 30 years, my father made up a string of crackpot medical treatments which he then relentlessly promoted by any means, including the fabrication of data and case reports." -Peter M. Heimlich
The Website is a derisive litany detailing decades of suspicious practices, achieved in plain public view, by the famous Dr. Heimlich. Peter strongly considers both the media and the medical community were complicit while allowing Dr. Heimlich to make bizarre and scientifically unproven assertions that his Heimlich maneuver can be used for maladies other than choking, and that he has discovered lifesaving techniques for other diseases. While the Heimlich maneuver is widely accepted and has saved many lives, Henry Heimlich and the co-discoverer of the method, Edward Patrick, wallow in controversy. It appears that having tasted success and wide public acclaim with the Heimlich maneuver, each wanted continued acclaim, possibly at the cost of sound
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scientific method. It is this accusation, that they promoted other lifesaving techniques that do not work, that has most damaged the pair's reputations. Peter explained this to me in an on-camera interview I conducted at his home in Duluth, Georgia:
"Nevertheless, armed with considerable charm, an instinct for public relations, and fueled by a ravenous need for attention and adulation, my father used the media to pass himself off as a medical genius/inventor and humanitarian. Facts prove that contrary to his self-cultivated public image, he was an incompetent surgeon who appropriated ideas from other doctors and attached his name to them. The procedure known as 'the Heimlich maneuver' is probably no exception. Facts indicate that the only thing my father ever invented was his own reputation."
That leaves one all-important question: Is the Heimlich maneuver the best way to help a choking victim? My investigation found that the Heimlich maneuver was integrated into the American Red Cross guidelines for choking victims in 1976. The guidelines called for an initial intervention of backslaps to dislodge the foreign object. If these failed, then the Heimlich maneuver was to be used. During my interview, Peter Heimlich claimed that his father paid for a 1982 study on the ineffectiveness of back blows, which Dr. Heimlich often referred to publicly as "death blows" that can drive an airway obstruction deeper into the throat. So, in 1985, the American Red Cross dropped the recommendation to first use backslaps. Instead, for the next two decades, through 2005, the Heimlich maneuver was the only recommended intervention. Then, in 2006, things changed once again. Though few are aware of the changes, the American Red Cross essentially reverted to their 1976 standards of intervention: first, a series of backslaps and, if these fail, then the Heimlich Maneuver. Even with the 2006 American Red Cross changes, both Heimlich and Patrick continue to contend the Heimlich maneuver is superior.
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When I learned of this from Peter, I thought, how could I have missed this? So, after I fired my "specially qualified managerial personnel", I went back to the drawing board. I had to redesign the chair so that it could be independently operated and able to deliver a series of backslaps to the user. Finally, after months of design and testing, the No Choke Chair was unveiled to the public (Fig. 4). The new chair featured a backrest with an adjustable, padded thrust point that could be positioned to contact the body between the shoulder blades. I invented a patented gear and lever system that could exponentially increased the strength of the user while making it possible to repeat the action if necessary. The user remains seated and is automatically positioned leaning forward when reaching for the lever, located under the seat. A safety pin is removed to free the mechanism and the lever is pulled up, quickly bringing the firmly cushioned backrest forward to deliver a powerful blow. By pushing the lever down, the process can be repeated as many times as needed to free the obstruction from the airway. Problem solved, finally; I can breathe again.
OUR SMALLEST ENEMIES
Last year, with all the stunning events that happened across the world, from the earthquake in Chile to the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploding in the Gulf of Mexico, there was one piece of news that seemed to grip my attention like no other story has in quite a long time. It was the startling news from a University of Arizona study that found that seventy-two percent of our nation's shopping carts are infected with fecal matter, many of which tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Yes, your toilet is likely a cleaner and less disgusting place than your shopping cart. While I have come to
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accept that the world is full of disaster, the fact that I'm handling feces when I go shopping is something too shocking to ignore. I felt horrified and helpless to hear something like this. If that wasn't bad enough, the related news that touch-screen cellphones are also infected with bacteria, brought the story even closer to home. The very fact that people are actively worried about this is cause for alarm, isn't it? Customers should insist on germ-free carts. We should wear disposable gloves while shopping. Hand sanitizer and wipes are probably a good idea. I'm no germophobe but even I get discomfited when I see someone emerge from a bathroom stall, look in the mirror for a few seconds and then stroll out casually. These, my friends, are the culprits responsible for your soiled shopping carts.
Of course, germs are everywhere and the key to removing them is cleaning and disinfecting. When it comes to your dining room table, managing your risks starts with keeping everything clean, bacteria and germ free. The last thing we want is for our table to cause us to become sick. That's why Home Safe went back to work to find another solution. Our newly hired team of specially qualified managerial personnel researched the latest technology available to help fight germs. Our discoveries included the use of Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO), an advanced technology developed for the U.S. Military, first used in 1991 Gulf War for protection against biological and chemical warfare. Friends, at the University of Florida's College of Engineering, provided Home Safe with an understanding of how this works:
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Apparently, photo catalytic oxidation is achieved when you combine UV light rays with a Titanium Oxide coated filter. The process creates hydroxyl radicals and super-oxide ions, which are highly reactive electrons that combine with bacteria. Once bound together, a chemical reaction takes place between the super-charged ion and the pollutant, effectively "oxidizing" (or burning) the germs. This breaks the invader down into harmless carbon dioxide and water molecules. Chemistry scientists from the University of Colorado and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado conducted an experiment testing the effectiveness of photocatalytic oxidation against harmful germs. They found that destruction of these contaminates was nearly one hundred percent.
Genius! What ever did we do before this was discovered? Alcohol-infused cloths, or germicidal wipes, work fine but what do you do with the cloths when you are done? Let them fester in a bacteria-ridden trashcan? Home Safe's solution was to incorporate all available means of sterilization technology and package it in an attractive, space saving, cube-design table that manually opens and retracts to prevent dust from settling on your chairs (Figs. 5 and 6). The Germicidal Table features an anti-bacterial wipe dispenser, UV lights, and a vacuum tissue disposal. The vacuum has a Titanium Oxide coated filter and leads to a hermetically sealed, disposable, bio-hazardous containment unit. The remaining air is pumped through and out a high efficiency particulate air sifter, or HEPA filter. The four compartments, on the side and top of the table, use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to sterilize the plates and utensils. We can now enjoy our food in peace. Germs, take that!
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A CLAUSTROPHOBIC NATION
"My duty to be tolerant towards the other effectively means that I should not get too close to him, intrude on his space. In other words, I should respect his intolerance of my over-proximity. What increasingly emerges as the central human right in late-capitalist society is the right not to be harassed, which is a right to remain at a safe distance from others." -Slavoj Zizek, Violence
When I was eight-years-old, I developed severe claustrophobia. The cause was most likely when, while playing a silly game with my brother, I ended up being trapped inside a folding couch bed for nearly three hours. The suffocating, foam rubber mattress became my temporary coffin, burying me alive in a restrictive prison. Just remembering the incident makes me short of breath, nauseous and light headed. Since then, I have managed to cope with my phobia through various stress therapy techniques, although; I still have trouble in crowded places and I always try for a seat that is at a comfortable distance from my neighbor. Lately, it seems harder to find.
The news recently reported that, according to the World Bank, World Development Indicators, the United States population has nearly a one percent overall growth rate. The world's current overall growth rate is over one percent, representing a doubling time of sixty-one years. If current growth continues, we can expect the world's population of six and a half billion to become thirteen billion by 2072. Many researchers fear that our rapid growth will doom huge numbers of plants and animals to extinction, us included. And, in a recent survey commissioned by King's College London, people ranked "overpopulation" as the fifth-scariest issue facing the globe.
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"Individuals, like nations, must have suitable broad and natural boundaries, even a considerable neutral ground between them..."
-Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension
In 1966, a visionary anthropologist and cross-cultural researcher, by the name of Edward T. Hall, introduced us to the intriguing concept of "proxemics" or "personal space". In his book, The Hidden Dimension, he describes the subjective dimensions that surround each of us or, in other words, the physical distances we try to keep from other people. Hall points out that, "...all animals have a minimum space requirement, without which survival is impossible". He presented evidence indicating that as the numbers of people in a given area increase, "fear" builds up, and extreme stress can lead to disease and other serious health issues for that person. Even more disconcerting, he explains that, "fear" has an actual smell; a discernible odor, that can be detected by the endocrine systems of nearby persons. The scent triggers an internal, chemical reaction that causes the person's kidneys, liver, and adrenals to enlarge, leading to death. "Eventually," he says, "this could lead to a population collapse." "Personal space" requires a minimum distance, between individuals, that is somewhere around three feet. It extends from, "a point that is just outside easy touching distance by one person to a point where two people can touch fingers if they extend both arms." This is the limit of physical domination in the very real sense. Beyond it, a person cannot easily "get his hands on" someone else (Hall 16-50, 113-25).
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Americans follow a rule, which is all the more binding because we seldom think about it, that can be stated as follows: as soon as a person stops or is seated in a public place, there balloons around him a small sphere of privacy which is considered infrangible. Home Safe asked, "Why is furniture not designed with this idea in mind?" Why is there, when available, an empty seat between strangers? Isn't wasting space as bad as crowding space? One eventually leads to the other, and even if it doesn't bother you directly, nonetheless; the stress of others could obliquely affect you. That's why our next challenge was to redesign the concept of the couch.
The mission's objective was for the couch to occupy no more space than the original footprint of a modern club sofa, yet provide a minimum distance of three feet of personal space in any direction. Two concepts were brought to the table. The first idea was for the Personal Space Sofa: a modular unit, where each can seat up to three people (Figs. 7 and 8). The middle seat is simply staggered to achieve optimum distance from your neighbor. A small, built-in stepladder assists an individual when occupying the middle seat. It is a small step for one man and one giant leap for furniture design! The other plan was for the Claustrophobia Escape Couch (Figs. 9 and 10). This versatile design provides seating for two and introduces a mechanical elevation system that allows the occupants the ability to adjust to a comfortable proximity. Built-in cup holders and footrests, along with over-sized chairs and armrests, negate the need for a coffee table and free up more space to do with what you want. The irony, for me, is the couch itself. I can't help but remember that the couch is why I am claustrophobic in the first place.
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SMOKE 'EM IF YOU GOT 'EM
United States Surgeon General, Dr. Regina M. Benjamin, in a recent televised public service announcement, said that smoking one cigarette could kill you. In fact, she said, just breathing in the smoke from someone else's cigarette could kill you. It's all part of a report released last year entitled, A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease, (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/index.html)
"The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs quickly every time you inhale, causing damage immediately. Inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer."
A few decades ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association used to run advertisements for cigarettes. They even used headlines like, "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette." Well, if you still had any doubt that factory-made cigarettes are harmful to your health; this last statement made by a US Surgeon General should close the case for you. As president of Home Safe, I feel that we should offer similar warnings for all the other toxic products that can kill you. For example, if smoking one cigarette can kill you, so can taking one pharmaceutical pill. Scientific research uncovered numerous pharmaceuticals that cause DNA mutations, meaning that they, too, can "damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer," to use the Surgeon General's own words. But the media has not yet reported this, so, perhaps, there is no cause for alarm. But as for cigarettes, there remains no doubt as to their lethality.
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So, what can we do? We can't make smoking illegal, so we ban it in all public places. But, that's not good either. According to our old friend, Edward T. Hall, causing a person unnecessary stress (by denying them a cigarette) can lead to adverse effects on your own health. Solutions, including public smoke-free booths, are already in use in some facilities but they take up a lot of space and are costly to install and maintain. This makes it very difficult for the average home or business owner to afford. It's much easier to slap a no smoking sign on the door and go on believing that we are doing ourselves a favor. Where others see a problem, Home Safe sees a solution. The Tandemic Corporation, manufacturer of Tandem Strike cigarettes, recently contacted me and we discussed ideas to develop a portable smoking device that allowed the ability to smoke, in public or private, without contaminating the air. Although, Home Safe does not promote the use of tobacco, we do support the safe keeping of our clients (smokers and non). So, Home Safe went to work again.
For the prototype, I saw it as fitting to use an M131a1 conical tail fin, originally made for use with a 750-pound M117 bomb. A refurbished, 1950's relic and a icon of American victory, bombs like these were once dropped from the legendary B-52 bombers during the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm. The system was outfitted with an encased ashtray, accessible through a domed lid. The switch activated vacuum purification system uses a Drager 40mm NATO NBC filter, adapting the latest in military filtration technology. We, at Home Safe, feel confident that this filter sufficiently disarms the harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. According to our provider, AGM Chemical Protection, Respiratory Protection Equipments, and Survival Supplies:
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"The Drager filter protects against: Chemical and biological warfare agents like sarin and other nerve gases; mustard gas, cyanogen, arsine and phosgene; radioactive and highly toxic particles; aerosols and microorganisms; bacteria and viruses. Many industrial gases, organic gases and vapors, inorganic gases and vapors, such as chlorine, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulphide, organic and inorganic acids, such as formic acid, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen chloride. Warfare and terrorism agents such as anthrax, sarin, smallpox, and mustard gas as well as riot control agents like CN and CS tear gases."
The machine is equipped with an internal, electronic lighter that is activated using an external switch. The user inserts a cigarette into the sliding holder and seals the lid. The ignition switch is flipped, lighting the cigarette. Then, the vacuum purification system is manually activated. Next, the user inhales the smoke through a bite valve, located inside an A-14 oxygen supply mask that is connected to the machine by a corrugated hose. (The US army originally developed these masks during WWII as a chemical warfare protective respirator face piece for high altitude flight.) Finally, the smoke is exhaled into the mask and the vacuum carries the smoke through the filter and out the bottom vent of the tail. In addition, the ashtray is attached to the filter system making it self-cleaning and smoke-free. The Portable Smokeless Station is now ready for battle (Figs. 11 and 12).
CONCLUSION: BACK TO REALITY
The media has irreparably modified our reality, a convoluted synthesis of fact and fiction. Americans are hopelessly tangled in a web of conceit, left vulnerable and unable to determine whether their anxieties are substantiated or mediated. The fear pushes us
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forward to find solutions and we search for hopeful promises. We are driven by our conspicuous psychology to be chronically concerned with our safety and importance. Our intelligence and self-aware nature gives purchase to our apotheosis. We are hardwired to be deceptive when the truth might come to threaten our vested interests. We are opportunistic by nature. The disruptive nature of these opportunistic inclinations, when mixed with media-induced panic, yields illogical answers, more precisely; the solutions we develop become, more or less, coping strategies for dealing with that fear.
Pushing absurdity to the borders of dystopia is a laudable test of imagination and ingenuity. The media's ability to propagate fear greatly facilitates the process and easily justifies the intentions. Suspicious motives and debatable concerns are seldom questioned when fear is the orator. Inadvertently, these fear-based products provide a purpose. If not a practical solution, they offer mental comfort and the ability to relax, focus and move forward towards the future. If peace of mind were an actual commodity, Americans would buy stock in it. And, if our abysmal paranoia is just getting the best of us, then fear is our only enemy. If it is real, we might not live to regret it.
EPILOGUE
As president of Home Safe I urge you to be safe, America, and remember, as a good friend once said to me, "Paranoid is what they call you when they want you to drop your guard".
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APPENDIX
PREAMBLE
My thesis exhibition was done in collaboration with my twin brother, Jacob Christopher Kubisz, and his company, Tandemic. While my products appear hopeful, they speak very definitely about fear. And while my brother's objects appear frightening and fearful, they point very directly at hope. Together, we presented our innovations during a cooperative expo entitled Fear and Hope (Fig. 13). I particularly enjoyed the tension created between the works when they were presented in the same context and how, by way of opposition, they defined each other. (For more information on Jacob Kubisz or Tandemic visit www.tandemic.org.)
FEAR AND HOPE: A COLLABORATIVE MANIFESTO Proposition One: The Premise
Ernest Bloch, in The Principle of Hope, explains how fear is passive and constraining, while hope is motivating and productive. The ideas expressed in our dual thesis exhibitions demonstrate that fear and hope are interdependent to each other and to a common goal of progress. The success of hope lies within those whose fear turns towards dreams of a better tomorrow. Making those visions a reality once you "wake up" is the goal of hope. In stating that, "The only thing to fear is fear itself", FDR spoke to the idea that fear can paralyze one from progress, from moving forward, from succeeding, despite any challenges. We need not fear tomorrow or the next day. The only thing we should be afraid of is the fear that keeps us mired in self-pity and loss. If we can overcome that, we can move forward. Fear can also cause a person, group, or
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nation to act defensively at a time when they desperately need to be acting positively to do what needs to be done. If we never fear anything, then hope is an unavailing notion. Hope is defined then from envisioning a distant and radical change in status. Lack of this presents complacency where hope is an obsolete ideal. Hope then also demands fear. If that were not the case, one would be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. Without that it would be despair. Proposition Two: Utopias/Dystopias
Utopia doesn't exist, and literally means "nowhere". In his book, which coined the term, Thomas Moore attempts to describe a fictional island where the situation seems idealistic and free from fear and hope. In review of his text, we find his work actually presents both elements existing simultaneously. With apprehension of losing their way of life, the population of Utopia stores gold with no other value than to provide a method to fund defense from neighboring countries in case of an attack. This is where an awareness of the possibility of loss instills the fear necessary to take these proactive measures. The people of Utopia also believe that conformity to their laws and a noble life will ensure that they will go to Heaven. Utopians understand this to be a paradise in the afterlife. This belief illustrates the hope for a positive outcome related to events and circumstances in one's life, and a break in the complacency of their current situation. Actual dystopias have existed in history, such as in Nazi Germany. WWII featured fear of repressive social control systems, lack or total absence of individual freedoms and expressions, and constant states of warfare and violence. History and dystopian literature both have underlying cautionary tones, warning society that if we continue to live how we do, this will be the consequence. Fear drives those who acquire it towards
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the hope of escaping it. Dystopias are "somewhere", and they exist in the past as a
reminder of the potential fate of ignoring them.
Proposition Three: Coexistent and Complementary Behaviors
In Vision 65 Summary Lecture, R. Buckminster Fuller speaks of education leading to awareness, and its application to govern man's survival and enjoyment of life. He explains how he believes; "there is a plurality of coexistent behaviors in nature which are complementary." This theory has remained a scientific generalization, that is, "the discovery and statement of a principle that holds true without exceptions." For anything to exist there must be a counterpart. Within this logic, for every positive aspect of human nature there must also be a complementary negative. Both aspects exist individually, and simultaneously, towards a common end.
Hope and fear are interdependent of each other. They are coexistent behaviors. In a political realm, we cannot move forward without knowing and understanding the flaws in which we need to progress. Progress is complemented by fear. Fear is an unwilling participant in our social evolution. Fear presents a situation that is uncomfortable. Those that hope to escape from fear, dream of a solution, and move towards achieving that goal. The opposite of a Utopia is a dystopia, which needs to exist to identify the former. Utopias and dystopias are cyclical states of being that are in constant motion perpetuated by fear and driven by hope. The situation has a middle ground that is often termed present reality.
"We now know scientifically that for the first time in history there can be enough support continually all of expanding humanity at previously undreamed of and ever advancing standards of living and intellectual satisfaction in effective participation in the evolutionary processes. But we are frustrated from realizing our success by our different political systems and laws, which have
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all been devised to protect the few who have or have not adopted the system that promised the most in a bad bargain, or the most just system such as that which would provide for those whose labor produced the little that there was to go round." -R. Buckminster Fuller Proposition Four: The Conclusion
The fear and hope duality of our coexistent and complementary series provides a
tension that is drawn within and between the bodies of work. The collaboration
describes how imagination and reason can be at odds with one another. "The end is
near", is an interesting and commonly heard phrase. Every end is also a beginning of
something different. It would be more optimistic if it was said that "the beginning is
near", or more accurate that "a change is coming". The world revolves in cycles, and
people have feared the end since the beginning. Based on historical apocalyptic
paranoia, we can learn that the only consistent aspect of time is change. It is not a
question of "if"; it's a question of "when". By proposing other possibilities, we
demonstrate that there are different forms of social interaction between people that can
be explored. It is another step towards becoming aware of our ever changing and
evolving present reality that we exist in for the interim of our current circumstances. By
continuing this line of questioning, it may be possible to side step the cycle of fear and
hope, and move towards the comprehensive cultural and ecological evolution of our
existence. This is not a fight against time, but a journey with it. We look forward to your
response.
-Joshua Caine Kubisz and Jacob Christopher Kubisz
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BIBLIOGRAPHY
American Red Cross. 2011. Web. .
De Zengotita, Thomas. Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006. 129-74. Print.
Gas Mask Domestic Preparedness Equipment from Approved Gas Masks. 2011. Web. .
Hall, Edward T. The Hidden Dimension. New York: Anchor, 1990. Print.
Heimlich, Peter M. "Outmaneuvered: How We Busted the Heimlich Medical Frauds." Med fraud, info. 2008. Web. .
LIFE Magazine January 12 (1962). Original LIFE Magazines. 1998-11. Web.
.
Noble, Richard. Utopias: Documents of Contemporary Art. London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2009. Print.
The State of Home Safety in America. Publication. Home Safety Council, 2004. Web. .
US Depatment of Health and Human Resources. Office of the Surgeon General. A
Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease. OSG. 9 Dec. 2010. Web. .
Zengerle, Jason. "The Choke Artist: Who Are the Mysterious Critics Hunting Henry Heimlich." TNR: The New Republic 23 June 2007: 23-28, 37. Print.
Zizek, Slavoj. Violence: Six Sideways Reflections. New York: Picador, 2008. 40-45. Print.
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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Joshua Caine Kubisz was born on June 10, 1977. He has lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, and Indiana. Kubisz attended Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana for his undergraduate degree. In 2007, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture with a minor in art history. In 2009, Kubisz received the University of Florida's Graduate Assistantship Award to attend graduate school in the Master of Fine Art program for Sculpture. He has been nominated by his committee Chair, Celeste Roberge, for the Outstanding Student Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture for 2010 and 2011. Also in 2011, Kubisz was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation's MFA Grant Program. For more information, please visit www. homesafesolutions. info.
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Figs. 1 and 2. Above: Lenticular advertisements with backlit displays. Below: Miniature, exacting replicas of safety furniture in acrylic encased displays.
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Fig. 4, The No Choke Chair.
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Figs. 5 and 6, The Germicidal Table, details. Above: (closed). Below: (opened).
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Fig. 12, The Portable Smokeless Station, detail.
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Full Text

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1 PARAPHERNOIA By JOSHUA CAINE KUBISZ SUPERVISORY COMMITTEE: PROF. CELESTE ROBERGE, CHAIR PROF. SERGIO VEGA, MEMBER ASST PROF. SEAN MILLER, MEMBER ASSOC. PROF. ROBERT MUELLER MEMBER A PROJECT IN LIEU OF THESIS PRESENTED TO THE COLLEGE OF FINE ARTS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF FINE ARTS UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2011

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2 2011 Joshua Caine Kubisz

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3 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank my father, John B. Kubisz, for his support and for believing in me; for that, I am infinitely grateful. I would also like to thank my loving wife for being my unofficial and severe ly underpaid studio assistant; t hrough all the years o f costly projects, endless days, and panic -stricken art crises, she has stood by me and has been untiring. For being my motivation giving me purpose, and for making me laugh I thank my adoring children, Jordan and Jocelyn. Thank you Jake, my twin brothe r, for being the eternal optimist and reminding me, time and again, that anything is possible. I would also like to express my gratitude to my committee members, Celeste Roberge, Sean Miller, Sergio Vega, and Bob Mueller; t heir insight, exceptional instruc tion, and critical advice has helped me to find my voice as an artist. A special thanks to Richard Heipp and Julia Morrisroe for showing me what it truly means to be an artist.

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4 TABLE OF CONTENTS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 3 LIST OF FIGURES 5 ABSTRACT 6 INTRODUCTION: EXAMINING MEDIATED FEAR 8 DEFINING PARAPHERNOIA 10 HOME SAFE 13 NO CHOKING MATTER 16 OUR SMALLEST ENEMIES 21 A CLAUSTROPHOBIC NATION 24 SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT EM 27 CONCLUSION: BACK TO REALITY 29 EPILOGUE 30 APPENDIX 31 BIBLIOGRAPHY 35 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH 36 FIGURES 37

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5 LIST OF FIGURES Figure Page 1 Lenticular advertisements with backlit displays 37 2 Miniature, exacting repli cas of safety furnitur e in acrylic encased displays 37 3 The Heimlich Chair 38 4 The No Choke Chair 39 5 The Germicidal Table (opened) 40 6 The Germicidal Table (closed) 40 7 The Personal Space Sofa (front view) 41 8 The Personal Space Sofa (back view) 41 9 The Claustrophobia Escape Couch (front view) 42 10 The Claustrophobia Escape Couch (back view) 42 11 The Portable Smokeless Station 43 12 The Portable Smokeless Station (detail) 44 13 Fear and Hope Expo 2011 45

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6 Summary of Project Option in Lieu of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Master of Fine Arts PARAPHERNOIA By Joshua Caine Kubisz May 2011 Chair: Celeste Roberge Major: Art This project, Paraphernoia investigates issues related to the commodification of fear. In an effort to establish a critique of society, I have been drawing on references to modernist art movements ranging from suprematism, constructivism, and the Bauhaus, to American popular cultur e of the nineteen fifties. Inspired by mass cultural paranoia brought on by the Cold War and the contemporary threat of Terrorism, the project consists of highly crafted replicas and completely functional objects that exist somewhere between fictitious and real worlds. Paraphernoia is a term that I use to describe products that are marketed by companies and purchased by consumers in response to paranoia or fear. Through my own design of furniture and products, I examine mediated fear as a cultural phenom enon that creates an ideology of progress and the idea of hope with its promise of fulllment. The project investigates the medias ability to propagate new fears and challenges the motives of global corporations that capitalize on the resultant paranoia. The research involves the establishment of my own company, Home Safe which allows

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7 me to take the position of inventor and president. I explore my own psychological questions concerning our desperate need to feel safe and protected by proposing absurd solu tions to the real and constructed fears that exist in contemporary society in the United States. In an investigation of these concepts, I have produced a promotional expo showcasing my products that provide solutions to a variety of fears and paranoias. The exhibition consists of miniature replicas as well as full -scale, working prototypes of my companys product line. Acrylic encased displays with mirrored bases present miniature replicas including five of my furniture solutions. Inspired by mid -century ingenuity and design, the aesthetics of my products allude to a time when fear and paranoia were epitomized. Exploring obsessive fears about personal safety, choking, germs, personal space, and personal freedom, the project includes my design solutions for the Heimlich Chair No Choke Chair Germicidal Table Personal Space Sofa Claustrophobia Escape Couch and the Portable Smokeless Station The furniture objects appear hopeful and harmless yet to the uncertain viewer, they are instilled with fears and anxieties.

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8 INTRODUCTION : EXAMINING MEDIATED FEAR "We are living a fusion of real and unreal time, an ongoing undulation of overlays and intersections ... representational technologies have colonized our minds ... to the extent that our thoughts no longer wander around on their own, stocked only with materials drawn from direct experience, to the extent that they follow flows of representations instead -to just that extent that we don't think our own thoughts. Thomas de Zengotita, Mediated American susceptibility to the media is a consequence of our arrogance a reflexive symptom that is caused by media exposure. The cure would require a complete separation from the world as it is lived and the world as it is mediated, seemingly inseparable; the virtual world, composed of television, radio and the Internet, has become impossibly fused with our reality Author and anthropologist, Thomas de Zengotita suggests in Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It that since the nineteen sixties American s have lived in a culture of reflexivity and the media (television in particular) is responsible We are repeated ly exposed to images that depict the individual as the center of the universe and we believe this to be our rightful place. The result of this narcissism is a detachment and an inability to imagine our pre -mediated lives (de Zengotita, 129 -74). The facility to increase exposure and the immediacy of the information make the media a dangerous weapon. A chance occurrence has the possibility of being publicly broadcast and, within seconds it can be on the mind of everyone that listens or watches. Improbable dangers can quickly mutate into likely threats that confront our desire to feel safe. The media enables newsmakers, global corporations and charismatic visionaries to proliferate dubious concerns and use commercial

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9 advertisements to capitalize on the resultant paranoia My focus is on t he solutions to our fears that are materialize d as commodities that come with promises and price tags. Then, money becomes the only obstacle that stands in the way of our safety. This project investigates the absurdity of these fear-related products while examining the rationale behind the company and the consumer Consumers respond to anxiety, enthused by the media and their own uncertainties; panic stimulates impulsiveness. The irrational probability of death due to an unusual set of circumstance s is out weighed by the minute risk factor; a component that has been amplified by the medias ability to propagate this fear This investigation begins with a definition and brief history of paraphernoia Then, I will discuss the founding of Home Safe my company that is dedicated to protecting the publics safety by providing inconspicuous products that promise solutions for their various concerns. This investigation explore s my own fears, creating a framework through which my products are inspired. B y positioning myself as inventor and president of Home Safe I am allowed a unique opportunity to hold an inside perspective; one that consumers dont often see. This is an important aspect of my investigation that permits me to take an unbiased position. My project seeks to uncover a basis for these fears and to determine the legitimacy of my concerns. Paraphernoia raises questions concerning the necessity for such products, whether or not they are practical, and it examines other, more ethereal purposes f or their existence.

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10 DEFINING PARAPHERNOIA The only way to introduce passion to actively mobilize people, is through fear. Slavoj i # ek, Violence As I sit to write this paper, the nightly news unfolds on my television. It is March 2011, the picture is live, delivered to the comfort of my home via satellite, and if I wish, I can switch to a dozen other channels or connect to the Internet in search of fresh perspectives. In this hi -tech world of twenty -four hour rolling news coverage, it is easy to take for granted the speed and immediacy of this informat ion while, at the same time; neglect ing to maintain a healthy sense of skepticism. Lets not forget that it was only a little more than seventy years ago when Orson Welles tapped into the subconscious fears of a nation and convinced thousands of people that Martians were invading the United States. In fact, we werent as innocent as we meant to be when we did the Martian broadcast. We were fed up with th e way in which everything that came over this new magic box, the radio, was being swallowed. So, in a way, our broadcast was an assault on the credibility of that machine. We wanted people to understand that they shouldnt swallow everything that came thro ugh the tap. Orson Welles Paraphernoia is a term that I use to describe products that are marketed by companies and purchased by consumers in response to paranoia or fear. While the term I use to designate these commodities is new, the concept is not. My investigation examined paraphernoia that have cleverly made their appearance in the wake of t error since the mid-nineteen hundreds America in the nineteen fifties was desperate to be optimistic again. By 1946 we had lived under the blanket of a general unhappiness for nearly two decades, first with the Depression, then World War II. When those obstacles

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11 were finally removed, Americans were left in a continuing state of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition. The Cold War began a struggle for supremacy in nuclear warfare and the uneasy public was swathed in mass paranoia Against the backdrop of escalating tensions with the Soviet Union, President Kennedy urged Americans to build bomb shelters in a speech he delivered on October 6, 1961. "We owe that kind of insurance to our families and to our c ountry. ... The time to start is now. In the coming months, I hope to let every citizen know what steps he can take without delay to protect his family in case of attack. I know you would not want to do less." John F. Kennedy The media picked up the message. For instance, the January 12, 1962 cover story of Life magazine depicted a story about "The Drive for Mass Shelters" with the hook, "New Facts You Must Know About Fallout." Over the next decade, more than one hundred thousand Americans prepared their own fallout shelters in their basements or backyards. How-to booklets proliferated, instructing people in the fine points of building their own shelters. The Douglas Fir Plywood Association in Tacoma, Washington advertised the f ollowing pitch: "New from plywood research! Two effective family fallout shelters, well within the means and ability of the average homeowner to build. Fully approved by the Dept. of Defense. Both call for simple, economical construction with big panels of waterproof plywood combined with concrete block (Basement Shelter) or sand or gravel fill (Above Ground Shelter.) Strong, safe, dependable, durable. Send 25 and coupon below for booklet with plans and information:" Despite the gravity of the situation, companies still used this opportunity to drive sales up by marketing their product while using fear as the vehicle. Only one year later, true to our fears, the world hovered on the brink of full -scale nuclear war when the Cuban

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12 Missile Crisis erupted During the tense thirteen-day crisis, some Americans prepared for nuclear war by buying up canned goods and completing last -minute work on their backyard bomb shelters. As the sixties gave way to the seventies and the fear of nuclear war receded, fallout shelters were soon relegated to the status of a cultural relic, but the motive behind the ir existence continues to manipulate the consumer s market today Notwithstanding the fact that most of these products were never used and, if they were, they would most likely have been ineffective, consumers continue to respond. F ear proved to be a successful marketing strategy. Businesses could get people to buy anything if they mad e them think that their li ves might depend on it. You probably dont have to look much further than the glove box of your car to find some contemporary examples of paraphernoia The Life Hammer or the pocket -sized version, the ResQMe keychain, has become standard equipment for most drivers. It is a device used to escape a sinking car by breaking a window The advertisement for this product is quick to point out that The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates six hundred people die yearly in immersed vehicles. What they dont tell you is that the majority of these victims were disorientated, inebriated, or unconscious. In all three cases, the products wouldnt have mattered. Ineffective and unreliable, it would seem that the only purpose they s erve is providing peace of mind. The attacks of September 11, 2001 brought an entirely new security climate to the United States, and awarded unprecedented importa nce to the threat of terrorism. Once again, America i s paralyzed by fear and, in an effort to feel safe; we allow our

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13 discretion to be compromised Lawmakers and politicians use this opportunity to manipulate the public by pushing issues of security in front of the real problems. Autonomy and privacy become negotiable securities. Our preservation takes precedence, as Slavoj "i#ek states in Violence Our narcissistic subjectivity experiences the self as vulnerable, constantly exposed to a multitude of potential threats. The ultimate goal of our lives is life itself. HOME SAFE In 2009, I established Home Safe in an effort to better understand the motives behind the corporations that explicitly design and market products intended for our protection. My company serves as the stage for my performance; my role is inventor president and concerned citizen I am in cha rge of imagining, designing, and fabricating the products. In addition I serve as the Chief Executive Officer, handling all public relations and product promotions. My first priorities were to design Home Safes corporate image develop a signature style, and de clare a mission statement. A simple H and S in decorative script, centered on a solid color, circular background would become my trademark Similar to the logo for General Electric (which hasnt changed much in the past century and is the fourth most recognized brand in the world ), I wanted the symbol to be redolent and the design to be emblematic of the postwar period, the nineteen fifties in particular.

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14 For some, the nineteen fifties are remembered as America's Classic Era, a utopia to be admired and emulated. Amidst a time when fear and paranoia were epitomized, the nation flourished. With its pioneering spirit, limitless energy, and seemingly endless possibilities, many Americans have adopted this era as the touchstone for the course of the nation. Stylistic conventions in architecture, furniture, and other commodities represented American society's fascination with Space Age themes and marketing emphasi s on futuristic designs. Curvaceous, geometric shapes, resembling boomerangs and flying saucers, composed motels, coffee houses and bowling alleys. Homes were commonly well appointed with Scandinavian Contemporary furniture made of natural wood, composing utilitarian designs that employed straight lines and simple shapes. This mid -century, modern style was undoubtedly inspired by furniture designs from Isamu Noguchis collaboration with the Herman Miller Company, which are often considered to be the most in fluential body of modern furniture ever produced and, now being the world's largest furniture retailer, IKEA, with their ready to assemble designs. I wanted to combine the aesthetics of both to create an original, modern -retro style that would eventually b ecome characteristic of all Home Safe furniture. Noguchi believed that art should disappear and become one with its surroundings; much the same, I believe that my furniture should be attractive yet, unpretentious and without immediate reference to any func tion other than its obvious purpose. Finally, Home Safe needed to be authenticated. I created a company website, www.homesafesolutions.info, which promote s my products and services I publicize my website through the use of business cards and various promotional items, including Home Safes hand sanitizers and germicidal face masks (a few more examples of

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15 paraphernoia that already exist). I advocate the success of my inventions through commercials, public demo nstrations, and promotional expos. My adverts include backlit posters with animated lenticular motion employing a technology that has been used in promotion s since the nineteen forties (Fig. 1). Miniature, exacting replicas of all my safety furniture were created for the exhibition (Fig. 2). Similar to miniatures that were carried by traveling salesman since the early nineteen hundreds, my replicas allow easier transport and the ability to present my products to a larger audience. As the president of Home Safe I personally believe that all of my products are necessary for surviving in todays dangerous world and I thoroughly believe in their effectiveness and ability to keep you safe. Home Safes Mission Statement: The fundamental mission of Home Sa fe is to protect the life of the customers we serve in a manner consistent with the highest ideals within our industry and to take advantage of those technological advancements that will help us succeed in that endeavor. We dedicate ourselves to providing unsurpassed, personalized, quality protection. Whether your safety concerns are large or small, we provide innovative solutions to suit your needs in emergency situations. We look forward to the future with great confidence hoping to win over new clients a nd safety partners and want to thank all of our current customers for their support thus far. In order to fulfill part of its mission, Home Safe has assigned specially qualified managerial personnel to keep abreast of the technological developments within the industry. They are empowered to adapt those technologies they find to be useful, and thus which will advance our goals. Additionally, we have implemented a policy of measured, steady growth, which will enable us to meet projected demand without ever de grading the quality of our service.

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16 Along the way we will evaluate, revise and recycle all plans as needed, while striving to be proactive in resolving any problems. Joshua Caine Kubisz, Inventor and President NO CHOKING MATTER One of my earliest experiences with choking happened when I was only five years old. My twin brother, Jake, was eating dinner at a local restaurant with my mother and me when he began choking on a piece of food. My mother quickly realized that he was unable to breathe and im mediately began to panic. Unsure of what to do, she yelled, Help! My son is choking! A nearby man respon ded by jumping to his feet, wrapping his arms around the front of my brothers stomach and violently hoisting him up off the ground while squeezing h im. The Heimlich maneuver had just been introduced a few years earlier so I was u nfamiliar with this action. I t terrified me. As I began to cry, I heard my brother cough and gasp for air. Miraculously, the color returned to his oxygen -starved face and I was, at once, relieved and captivated by the amazing technique that saved his life. What would have become of my brother if no one were around to help him? This question haunted me and it became a fear that I would eventually have to face. Many years later while eating at home alone, I began choking. Unable to scream for help, and with no one there to assist me, I felt helpless as I began to lose consciousness. I desperately ran to the door of my house and as I did, I tripped over a tables leg and landed hard on my side. The impact from the fall knocked the remaining air from my lungs and expelled the blockage from my airway I had narrowly escaped death this time, but now the fear of choking became even more real and increasingly terrifying.

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17 Deaths from choking are ranked fourth among unintentional home injury fatalities and one third of the deaths due to choking are associated with food (The State of Home Safety in America, 2004). Choking is the kind of emergency in which the chance of getting yourself to a doctor in time is impossible. Without immediate help, you can die, or at least suffer permanent brain damage, within as little as four minutes. If you are choking and no one is present to aid you, the American Red Cross suggests that you can save your own life by pressing your fist into your abdomen with your other hand. Or lean forward to press your abdomen over a solid object such as a piece of furniture. They go on to explain that, although these methods are occasionally effective, they both have serious issues that can result in their impotence or causation of further harm. The effectiveness of pressing your fist into your stomach is directly dependent on your own physical strength and is abated by the lack of leverage employed by this method. A piece of furniture is designed to provide a sturdy back support and could cause s erious injury to a persons rib cage or internal organs, such as the liver, if used to apply pressure to the abdomen (American Red Cross). Given my personal experiences with choking, I made it one of Home Safes first missions to invent a much -needed solution. To my knowledge, n o device had ever been designed to effectively assist an individual in this type of emergency Believing that the most successful approach to choking rescue was the Heimlich maneuver I began my design with this technique in mind. I also believed that a piece of furniture could indeed serve as the platform on which to build; after all, most Americans are sitting down when they are eating.

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18 The process began by researching and learning the proper method and procedure to follow when administrating the Heimlich maneuver With a series of sketches, I explored vario us configurations and determined that a chair w as the most relevant form for this function. Several maquettes were then created to appreciate the visu al application. After presenting my models in front of a test audience, a final design was determined and a full -scale, working prototype was created. The result was the Heimlich Chair ; the first chair designed to correctly assist an individual with an emergency procedure that could potentially save their life in the event of a choking incident (Fig. 3). It is equipped with contoured handles for a secure grip, a precisely cushioned abdominal thrust point, and a tilt-back/height adjust system that automatically sets the appropriate angle for contact with the body. Researching the mechanism of the technique was the easy part the hardest part was making the technique available to the individual Your life is now in your hands. The name Heimlich was initially chosen in an effort to establish credibility for my product and assuredness for its efficacy. Dr. Henry Heimlich is considered to be one of Americas greatest safety pioneers Once referred to as "America's most famous doct or" (The New Republic) he enjoyed the status of a celebrity. His charismatic persona captured the trust and respect of every American, an accomplishment that became one of Home Safes primary objectives. Shortly after the Heimlich Chairs public debut, Peter M. Heimlich, the son of Dr. Henry Heimlich, learned of my chair through Google News Alert and contacted me via email. Not knowing exactly what to expect, I responded to his inquiry and agreed to provide him with a photograph of the chair, which up un til now, he hadnt seen. After receiving the image he sarcastically responded, Great chair! Can

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19 I order a set of six and a matching dinette that performs CPR? Later, in the same email, he reexamined the chair as a practical solution and commented that, We often eat alone therefore no one's around to rescue us if we choke and our litigious society bystanders may be unwilling to get involved in a medical emergency and risk getting sued. The Heimlich Chair handily addresses both problems! I learned from a subsequent phone conversation that Peter was research ing a nd writing a book with the intention of exposing his father, Dr. Henry Heimlich, as a medical fraud. Crusaders against medical fraud are not unhear d of but it was certainly unusual to disco ver the primary accuser of Dr. Henr y Heimlich is his own son Holding a BS in Journalism, Peter has researched and written extensively about his father's medical activities. In fact, he has established a website dedicated to detailing his father's question able medical practices: http://medfraud.info "Facts prove that for 30 years, my father made up a string of crackpot medical treatments which he then relentlessly promoted by any means, including the fabrication of data and case reports." Peter M. Heimlich The Website is a derisive litany detailing decades of suspicious practices, achieved in plain public view, by the famous Dr. Heimlich. Peter strongly considers both the media and the medical community were complicit while allowing Dr. Heimlich to make bizarre and scientifically unproven assertions that his Heimlich maneuver can be used for maladies other than choking, and that he has discovered lifesaving techniques for other diseases. While the Heimlich maneuver is widely accepted and has saved many lives, Henry Heimlich and the co -discoverer of the method, Edward Patrick, wallow in controversy. It appears that having tasted success and wide public acclaim with the Heimlich maneuver, each wanted continued acclaim, possibly at the cost of sound

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20 scientific method. It is this accusation, that they promoted other lifesaving techniques that do not work, that has most damaged the pair's reputations. Peter explained this to me in an on-camera interview I conducted at his home in Duluth, Georgia: Nevertheless, armed with considerable charm, an instinct for public relations, and fueled by a ravenous need for attention and adulation, my father used the media to pass himself off as a medical genius/inventor and humanitarian. Facts pr ove that contrary to his self cultivated public image, he was an incompetent surgeon who appropriated ideas from other doctors and attached his name to them. The proc edure known as the Heimlich maneuver is probably no exception. Facts indicate that the o nly thing my father ever invented was his own reputation. That leaves one all-important question: Is the Heimlich maneuver the best way to help a choking v ictim? My investigation found that the Heimlich maneuver was integrated into the American Red Cross guidelines for choking victims in 1976. The guidelines called for an initial intervention of back slaps to dislodge the foreign object. If these failed, then the Heimlich maneuver was to be used. During my interview, Peter Heimlich claimed that his father paid for a 1982 study on the ineffectiveness of back blows, which Dr. Heimlich often refer red to publicly as "death blows that can drive an airway obstruction deeper into the throat. So, in 1985, the Ameri can Red Cross dropped the recommendation to first use backslaps. Instead, for the next two decades, through 2005, the Heimlich maneuver was the only recommended intervention. Then, in 2006, things changed once again. Though few are aware of the changes, th e American Red Cross essentially reverted to their 1976 standards of intervention: first, a series of backslaps and, if these fail, then the Heimlich Maneuver. Even with the 2006 American Red Cross changes, both Heimlich and Patrick co ntinue to contend the Heimlich maneuver is superior.

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21 When I learned of this from Peter, I thought, h ow could I have missed this? So, after I fired my specially qualified managerial personnel, I went back to the drawing board. I had to redesign the chair so that it could be i ndependently operated and able to deliver a series of backslaps to the user. Finally, a fter months of design and testing, the No Choke Chair was unveiled to the public (Fig. 4). The new chair featured a backrest with an adjustable, padded thrust point that could be positioned to contact the body between the shoulder blades. I invented a patented gear and lever system that could exponentially increased the strength of the user while making it possible to repeat the action if necessary. The user remains seated a nd is automatically positioned leaning forward when reaching for the lever, located under the seat. A safety pin is removed to free the mechanism and the lever is pulled up, quickly bringing the firmly cushioned backrest forward to deliver a powerful blow By pushing the lever down, the process can be repeated as many times as needed to free the obstruction from the airway. Problem solved, finally; I can breathe again. OUR SMALLEST ENEMIES Last year, with all the stunning events that happen ed across the world, from the earthquake in Chile to the Deepwater Horizon oil platform exploding in the Gulf of Mexico there was one piece of news that seemed to grip my attention like no other story has in quite a long time. It was the startling news from a University of Arizona study that found that seventy -two percent of our nations shopping carts are infected with fecal matter, many of which tested positive for E. coli bacteria. Yes, your toilet is likely a clea ner and less disgusting place than your shopping cart. While I have come to

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22 accept that the world is full of disaster the fact that Im handling feces when I go shopping is something too shocking to ignore. I felt horrified and helpless to hear something like this. If that wasnt bad enough, the related news that touch -screen cellphones are also infected with bacteria brought the story even closer to home. The very fact that people are actively worried about this is cause for alarm isnt it? Customers should insist on germ -free carts. We should wear disposable gloves while shopping. Hand sanitizer and wipes are probably a good idea. Im no germophobe but even I get discomfited when I see someone emerge from a bathroom stall, look in the mirror for a few seconds and then stroll out casually. These, my friends, are the culprits responsible for your soiled shopping carts. Of course, germs are everywhere and the key to removing them is cleaning and disinfecting. When it comes to your dining room table, managing your risks starts with keeping everything clean, bacteria and germ free. The last thing we want is for our table to cause us to become sick. Thats why Home Safe went back to work to find a nother solution. Our newly hired team of speci ally qualified managerial personnel researched the latest technology available to help fight germs. Our discoveries included the use of Photo Catalytic Oxidation (PCO), an advanced technology developed for the U.S. Military, first used in 1991 Gulf War for protection against biological and chemical warfare. Friends, at the University of Floridas College of Engineering, provided Home Safe with an understanding of how this works:

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23 Apparently, photo catalytic oxidation is achieved when you combine UV light rays with a Titanium Oxide coated filter. The process creates hydroxyl radicals and super -oxide ions, which are highly reactive electrons that combine with bacteria. Once bound together, a chemical reaction takes place between the super -charged ion and the pollutant, effectively "oxidizing" (or burning) the germs. This breaks the invader down into harmless carbon dioxide and water molecules. Chemistry scientists from the University of Colorado and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Colorado conducted an experiment testing the effectiveness of photocatalytic oxidation against harmful germs. They found that destruction of these contaminates was nearly one hundred percent Genius! What ever did we do before this was discovered? Alcohol -infused cloths, or germicidal wipes, work fine but what do you do with the cloths when you are done ? Let them fester in a bacteria-ridden trashcan? Home Safes solution was to incorporate all available means of sterilization technology and package it in an attractive, space saving, cube -design table that manually opens and retracts to prevent dust from settling on your chairs (Figs. 5 and 6). The Germicidal T able features an anti-bacterial wipe dispenser, UV lights, and a vacuum tissue disposal. The vacuum has a Titanium Oxide coated filter and leads to a hermetically sealed, disposable, bio -hazardous containment unit. The remaining air is pumped through and out a high efficiency particulate air sifter, or HEPA filter. The four compartments, on the side and top of the table, use ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) to sterilize the plates and utensils. We can now enj oy our food in peace. Germs, take that!

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24 A CLAUSTROPHOBIC NATION My duty to be tolerant towards the other effectively means that I should not get too close to him, intrude on his space. In other words, I should respect his intolerance of my over proximity. What increasingly emerges as the central human right in late ca pitalist society is the right not to be harassed which is a right to remain at a safe distance from others. Slavoj i # ek, Violence When I was eight -years -old, I developed severe claustrophobia. The cause was most likely when, while playing a silly game with my brother, I ended up being trapped inside a folding couch bed for nearly three hours. The suffocating, foam rubber mattress became my temporary coffin, burying me alive in a restrictive prison. Just remembering the incident makes me short of breath, nauseous and light headed. Since then, I have managed to cope with my phobia through various stress therapy techniqu es, although; I still have trouble in crowded places and I always try for a seat that is at a comfortable distance from my neighbor. Lately, it seems harder to find. The news recently reported that, a ccording to the World Bank, World Development Indicators the United State s population has nearly a one percent overall growth rate. The world's current overall growth rate is over one percent, representing a doubling time of sixty -one years. If current growth continues, we can expect the world's population of six and a half billion to become thirteen billion by 20 72. Many researchers fear that our rapid growth will doom huge numbers of plants and animals to extinction, us included And, in a recent survey commissioned by Kings College London, people ranked overpopulation as the fifth-scariest issue facing the globe.

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25 Individuals, like nations, must have suitable bro ad and natural boundaries, even a considerable neutral ground between them Edward T. Hall, The Hidden Dimension In 1966, a visionary anthropologist and cross -cultural researcher, by the name of Edward T. Hall, introduced us to the intriguing concept of proxemic s or personal space In his book, The Hidden Dimension he describes the subjective dimensions that surround each of us or, in other words, the physi cal distances we try to keep from other people. Hall points out that, !all animals have a minimum space requirement, without which survival is impossible. He presented evidence indicating that as the numbers of people in a given area increase, fear bui lds up, and extreme stress can lead to disease and other serious health issues for that person. Even more disconcerting, he explains that, fear has an actual smell; a discernible odor, that can be detected by the endocrine systems of nearby persons. The scent triggers an internal, chemical reaction that causes the persons kidneys, liver, and adrenals to enlarge, leading to death. Eventually, he says, this could lead to a population collapse. Personal space requires a minimum distance, between indi viduals, that is somewhere around three feet. It extends from, a point that is just outside easy touching distance by one person to a point where two people can touch fingers if they extend both arms. This is the limit of physical domination in the very real sense. Beyond it, a person cannot easily get his hands on someone else (Hall 16 -50, 113-25).

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26 Americans follow a rule, which is all the more binding because we seldom think about it, that can be stated as follows: as soon as a person stops or is s eated in a public place, there balloons around him a small sphere of privacy which is considered infrangible Home Safe asked, Why is furniture not designed with this idea in mind? Why is there, when available, an empty seat between strangers? Isnt wasting space as bad as crowding space? One eventually leads to the other, and even if it doesnt bother you directly, nonetheless; the stress of others could obliquely affect you. Thats why our next challenge was to redesign the concept of the couch. The missions objective was for the couch to occupy no more space than the original footprint of a modern club sofa, yet provide a minimum distance of three feet of personal space in any direction. Two concepts were brought to the table. The first idea was for the Personal Space Sofa : a modular unit, where each can seat up to three people (Figs. 7 and 8 ). The middle seat is simply staggered to achieve optimum distance from your neighbor. A small, built -in stepladder assists an individual when occupying the middle seat. It is a small step for one man and one giant leap for furniture design! The other plan was for the Claustrophobia Escape Couch (Figs. 9 and 10 ). This versatile design provides seating for two and intro duces a mechanical elevation system that allows the occupants the ability to adjust to a comfortable proximity. Built -in cup holders and footrests, along with over -sized chairs and armrests nega te the need for a coffee table and free up more space to do with what you want. The irony, for me, is the couch itself. I cant help but remember that the couch is why I am claustrophobic in the first place.

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27 SMOKE EM IF YOU GOT EM United States Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin in a recent televised public service announcement said that smoking one cigarette could kill you. In fact, she said, just breathing in the smoke from someone else's cigarette could kill you It's all part of a report released last year entitled A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking Attributable Disease (http://www.surgeongeneral.gov/library/tobaccosmoke/index.html) "The chemicals in tobacco smoke reach your lungs quickly every time you inhale, causing damage immediately Inhaling even the smallest amount of tobacco smoke can also damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer." A few decades ago, the Journal of the American Medical Association used to run advertisements for cigarettes. They even used headlin es like, "More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette." Well, if you still had any doubt that factory-made cigarettes are harmful to your health; this last statement made by a US Surgeon General should close the case for you. As president of Home Sa fe, I feel that we should offer similar warnings for all the other toxic products that can kill you. For example, if smoking one cigarette can kill you, so can taking one pharmaceutical pill. Scientific research uncovered numerous pharmaceuticals that cause DNA mutations, meaning that they, too, can "damage your DNA, which can lead to cancer," to use the Surgeon General's own words. But the media has not yet reported this, so, perhaps, there is no cause for alarm. But as for cigarettes, there remains no dou bt as to their lethality.

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28 So, what can we do? We cant make smoking illegal, so we ban it in all public places. But, thats not good either. According to our old friend, Edward T. H all, causing a person unnecessary stress (by denying them a cigarette) can lead to adverse effects on your own health. Solutions, including p ublic smoke -free booths, are already in use in some facilities but they take up a lot of space and are costly to install and maintain. This makes it very difficult for the average home or business owner to afford. Its much easier to slap a no smoking sign on the door and go on believing that we are doing ourselves a favor. Where others see a problem, Home Safe sees a solution. The Tandemic Corporation manufacturer of Tandem Strike cigarettes, recently contacted me and we discussed ideas to develop a portable smok ing device that allowed the ability to smoke in public or private, without contaminating the air. Although, Home Safe does not promote the use of tobacco, we do support the safe keeping of our clients (smokers and non). So, Home Safe went to work again. For the prototype, I saw it as fitting to use an M131a1 conical tail fin, originally made for use with a 750 -pound M117 bomb. A refurbished, 1950s relic and a icon of American victory, b ombs like these were o nce dropped from the legendary B -52 bombers during the Korean War, Vietnam War, and Operation Desert Storm. The system was outfitted with an encased ashtray accessible through a domed lid. The switch activated vacuum purification system uses a Drger 40mm NATO NBC filter, adapting the latest in military filtration technology. We, at Home Safe feel confident that this filter sufficiently disarms the harmful chemicals found in cigarette smoke. According to our provider, AGM Chemical Protection, Respiratory Protection Equipments, and Survival Supplies:

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29 The Dr ger filter protects against: Chemical and biological warfare agents like sarin and other nerve gases; mustard gas, cyanogen, arsine and phosgene; radioac tive and highly toxic particles; aerosols and microorganisms; bacteria and viruses. Many industrial gases, organic gases and vapors, inorganic gases an d vapors, such as chlorine, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulphide, organic and inorganic acids, such as formic acid, sulphur dioxide, hydrogen fluoride and hydrogen chloride. Warfare and terrorism agents such as anthrax, sarin, smallpox, and mustard gas as well as riot contr ol agents like CN and CS tear gases. The machine is equipped with an internal, electronic lighter that is activated using an external switch. The user inserts a cigarette into the sliding holder and seals the lid. The ignition switch is flipped, lighting the cigarette. Then, the vacuum purification system is manually activated. Next, the user inhales the smoke through a bite valve, located inside an A -14 oxygen supply mask that is connected to the machine by a corrugated hose. (The US army originally devel oped these masks during WWII as a chemical warfare protective respirator face piece for high altitude flight.) Finally, the smoke is exhaled into the mask and the vacuum carries the smoke through the filter and out the bottom vent of the tail. In addition, the ashtray is attached to the filter system making it self-cleaning and smoke -free. The Portable Smokeless Station is now ready for battle (Figs. 11 and 12 ). CONCLUSION: BACK TO REALITY The media has irreparably modified our reality, a convoluted synthesis of fact and fiction. Americans are hopelessly tangled in a web of conceit, left vulnerable and unable to determine whether their anxieties are substantiated or mediated. The fear pushes us

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30 forward to find solution s and we search for hopeful promise s. We are driven by our conspicuous psychology to be chronically concerned with our safety and importance Our intelligence and self -aware nature gives purchase to our apotheosis. We are hardwired to be deceptive when the trut h might come to threaten our vested interests. We are opportunistic by nature. The disruptive nature of thes e opportunistic inclinations, when mixed with media -induced panic, yields illogical answers more precisely; the solutions we develop become, more or less, coping strategies for dealing with that fear. Pushing absurdity to the borders of dystopia is a laudable test of imagination and ingenuity The medias ability to propagate fear greatly facilitates the process and easily justifies the intentions Suspicious motive s and debatable concerns are seldom questioned when fear is the orator. Inadvertently, these fear-based products provide a purpose. If not a practical solution, they offer mental comfort and the ability to relax focus and move forward towards the future. If peace of mind were an actual commodity, Americans would buy stock in it. And, if our abysmal paranoia is just getting the best of us, then fear is our only enemy If it is real, we might not live to regret it. EPILOGUE As president of Home Safe I urge you to be safe, America, and remember, a s a good friend once said to me, Paranoid is what they call you when they want you to drop your guard.

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31 APPENDIX PREAMBLE My thesis exhibition was done in collaboration with my twin brother, Jacob Christopher Kubisz, and his company, Tandemic While my products appear hopeful, they speak very definitely about fear. And while my brothers objects appear frightening and fearful, they point very directly at hope. Together, we presented our innovations during a cooperative expo entitled Fear and Hope (Fig. 13). I particularly enjoyed the tension created between the works when they were presented in the same context and how, by way of opposition, they defined each other. (For more information on Jacob Kubisz or Tandemic visit www.tandemic.org.) FEAR AND HOPE: A COLLABORATIVE MANIFESTO Proposition One : The Premise Ernest Bloch, in The Principle of Hope explains how fear is passive and constraining, while hope is motivating and productive. The ideas expressed in our dual thesis exhibitions demonstrate that fear and hope are interdependent to each other and to a common goal of progress. The success of hope lies within those whose fear turns towards dreams of a better tomorrow. Making those visions a reality once you wake up is the goal of hope In stating that, The onl y thing to fear is fear itself, FDR spoke to the idea that fear can paralyze one from progress, from moving forward, from succeeding, despite any challenges. We need not fear tomorrow or the next day. The only thin g we should be afraid of is the fear that keeps us mired in self -pity and loss. If we can overcome that, we can move forward. Fear can also cause a person, group, or

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32 nation to act defensively at a time when they desperately need to be acting positively to do what needs to be done. If we never fea r anything, then hope is an unavailing notion. Hope is defined then from envisioning a distant and radical change in status. Lack of this presents complacency where hope is an obsolete ideal. Hope then also demands fear. If that were not the case, one woul d be in a state of false security. Conversely, fear demands hope. With out that it would be despair. Proposition Two : Utopias/Dystopias Utopia doesn't exist, and literally means nowhere. In his book, which coined the term, Thomas Moore attempts to descr ibe a fictional island where the situation seems idealistic and free from fear and hope. In review of his text, we find his work actually presents both elements existing simultaneously. With apprehension of losing their way of life, the population of Utopia stores gold with no other value than to provide a method to fund defense from neighboring countries in case of an attack. This is where an awareness of the possibility of loss instills the fear necessary to take these proactive measures. The people of Utopia also believe that conformity to their laws and a noble life will ensure that they will go to Heaven. Utopians understand this to be a paradise in the afterlife. This belief illustrates the hope for a positive outcome related to events and circumstance s in one's life, and a break in the complacency of their current situation. Actual dystopias have existed in history, such as in Nazi Germany. WWII featured fear of repressive social control systems, lack or total absence of individual freedoms and express ions, and constant states of warfare and violence. History and dystopian literature both have underlying cautionary tones, warning society that if we continue to live how we do, this will be the consequence. Fear drives those who acquire it towards

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33 the hope of escaping it. Dystopias are somewhere, and they exist in the past as a reminder of the pot ential fate of ignoring them. Proposition Three: Coexistent and Complementary Behaviors In Vision 65 Summary Lecture R. Buckminster Fuller speaks of educatio n leading to awareness, and its application to govern mans survival and enjoyment of life. He explains how he believes; there is a plurality of coexistent behaviors in nature which are complementary. This theory has remained a scientific generalization, that is, the discovery and statement of a principle that holds true without exceptions. For anything to exist there must be a counterpart. Within this logic, for every positive aspect of human na ture there must also be a comple mentary negative. Both asp ects exist individually, and simultaneously, towards a common end. Hope and fear are interdependent of each other. They are coexistent behaviors. In a political realm, we cannot move forward without knowing and understanding the flaws in which we need to progress. Progress is complemented by fear. Fear is an unwilling par ticipant in our social evolution. Fear presents a situation that is uncomfortable. Those that hope to escape from fear, dream of a solution, and move towards achieving that goal. The opposite of a utopia is a dystopia, which needs to exist to identify the former. Utopias and dystopias are cyclical states of being that are in constant motion perpetuated by fear and driven by hope. The situation has a middle ground that is often termed present reality. We now know scientifically that for the first time in h istory there can be enough support continually all of expanding humanity at previously undreamed of and ever advancing standards of living and intellectual satisfaction in effective participation in the evolutionary processes. But we are frustrated from re alizing our success by our different political systems and laws, which have

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34 all been devised to protect the few who have or have not adopted the system that promised the most in a bad bargain, or the most just system such as that which would provide for th ose whose labor produced the little that there was to go round. R. Buckminster Fuller Proposition Four : The Conclusion The fear and hope duality of our coexistent and complementary series provides a tension that is drawn within and between the bodies of work. The collaboration describes how imagination and reason can be at odds with one another. The end is near, is an interesting and commonly heard phrase. Every end is also a beginning of something different. It would be more optimistic if it was said t hat the beginning is near, or more accurate that a change is coming. The world revolves in cycles, and people have feared the end since the beginning. Based on historical apocalyptic paranoia, we can learn that the only consistent aspect of time is change. It is not a question of if ; its a question of when. By proposing other possibilities, we demonstrate that there are different forms of social interaction between people that can be explored. It is another step towards becoming aware of our ever c hanging and evolving present reality that we exist in for the interim of our current circumstances. By continuing this line of questioning, it may be possible to side step the cycle of fear and hope, and move towards the comprehensive cultural and ecologi cal evolution of our existence. This is not a fight against time, but a journey with it. We look forward to your response. -Joshua Caine Kub isz and Jacob Christopher Kubisz

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35 BIBLIOGRAPHY American Red Cross 2011. Web. . De Zengotita, Thomas. Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It. New York: Bloomsbury, 2006. 129 -74. Print. Gas Mask Domestic Preparedness Equipment from Approved Gas Masks 2011. Web. . Hall, Edward T. The Hidden Dimension New York: Anchor, 1990. Print. Heimlich, Peter M. "Outmaneuvered: How We Busted the Heimlich Medical Frauds." Medfraud.info 2008. Web. . LIFE Magazine January 12 (1962). Original LIFE Magazines 1998-11. Web. . Noble, Richard. Utopias: Documents of Contemporary Art London: Whitechapel Gallery, 2009. Print. The State of Home Safety in America Publication. Home Safety Council, 2004. Web. . US Depatment of Health and Human Resources. Office of the Surgeon General. A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease: The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking -Attributable Disease OSG. 9 Dec. 2010. Web. . Zengerle, Jason. "The Choke Artist: Who Are the Mysterious Critics Hunting Henry Heimlich." TNR: The New Republic 23 June 2007: 23 -28, 37. Print. "i#ek, Slavoj. Violence: Six Sideways Reflections New York: Picador, 2008. 40 -45. Print.

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36 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Joshua Caine Kubisz was born on June 10, 1977. He has lived in Illinois, Wisconsin, Florida, and Indiana. Kubisz attended Indiana University, in Bloomington, Indiana for his undergraduate degree. In 2007, he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture wi th a minor in art history. In 2009, Kubisz received the University of Floridas Graduate Assistantship Award to attend graduate school in the Master of Fine Art program for Sculpture. He has been nominated by his committee Chair, Celeste Roberge, for the O utstanding Student Achievement Award in Contemporary Sculpture for 2010 and 2011. Also in 2011, Kubisz was nominated for the Joan Mitchell Foundation's MFA Grant Program. For more information, please visit www.homesafesolutions.info.

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37 Figs. 1 and 2. Above: Lenticular advertisements with backlit displays. Below: Miniature, exacting replicas of safety furnitur e in acrylic encased displays.

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38 Fig. 3, The Heimlich Chair

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39 Fig. 4, The No Choke Chair

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40 Figs. 5 and 6, The Germicidal Table details. Above: (closed) Below: (opened).

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41 Figs. 7 and 8, The Personal Space Sofa details. Above: ( front view ). Below: (back view).

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42 Figs. 9 and 10, The Claustrophobia Escape Couch details. Above: (front view). Below: (back view).

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43 Fig. 11, The Portable Smokeless Station

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44 Fig. 12, The Portable Smokeless Station detail.

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45 Fig. 13, Fear and Hope Expo 2011.