minute 35

When watching minute number 35 for the first time, I tried to concentrate on a purely objective observation. A woman or dummy is massaged by someone, a tree gets planed down by a man, a group of children and adults point at an old car, Children jumping on a car and a woman standing next to an easel smiling. All these seemingly incoherent scenes have one thing in common; they feature persons who interact with a certain object in a specific, rather unusual, way. This simple observation made me think about the purpose (if it exists) of their actions.

I came up with exploration, examination and testing.

The first scene shows a group of persons, most likely doctors, of whom one massages a female dummy or a woman wearing prosthesis. By touching and massaging the body and the prosthesis the doctors may be able to get a better understanding of the human body and the use of artificial body parts. To put it in another way, these men could just be a couple of weirdos, trying to satisfy their fetish for dummies.

Considering the next scene under the viewpoint of exploration and examination, it becomes likely that the man tries to examine what’s under the tree bark. He seems to be interested in the tree’s unique haptics. As a tree consists of layers he might have special interest in one of these layers, although it is rather unlikely that he will make it to the core using this kind of tool. Another possible explanation could be that he takes samples from the bark for further research. I’m obviously not a biologist, but I am certain that the tree bark contains plenty of valuable information about the tree’s condition.

The next two scenes constitute about 30 seconds of the whole minute. The group of children and adults point at the car, followed by cheering gestures and joyous jumping. When a view on the other side of the car is revealed, one can see children jumping on the vehicle’s body. Seeing the children all happy and gone wild, I got the impression that these children might rarely seen a real car as it appears to be one of the first cars build. It almost seems like the children have conquered the, in a way alien, object, examining in what way it can be used to their enjoyment. At this, misusing the car as a trampoline appears to be the most entertaining.

Depending on one’s profession, hobby, character and intention objects may be used in a new, unfamiliar manner, which can cause confusion and perplexity for other individuals. The use and benefit of an object is reinterpreted by the person itself.

Felix Eichler