Since the invention and proliferation of the photocopier, office clowns around the world have been united in a single desire - particularly around Christmas party time. Ignoring the jagged, buttock-splitting hazard of broken glass and the virtual certainty of dismissal should they be discovered, thousands of pranksters annually drop their strides or hike their skirts and enjoy the age-old ritual of photocopying their bums for their innocent co-workers to find in the out tray. Now, a Japanese designer has facilitated the process by designing a chair that automatically scans and prints a photo of your backside. Call me a traditionalist, but if it's not naughty, a bit dangerous and a blatant abuse of equipment, I can't see why you'd bother photocopying your bum at all. In fact, to me, the iBum chair seems to remove all fun from the act whatsoever.
Japanese "interactive designer" Tomomi Sayuda had better hope the iBum won't be her most famous invention - although since the blogs got hold of it, the horse may have bolted on that one. We particularly like her explanation on how she came up with the idea:
"This project came from "impact" brief. My initial concern was the news about a naked British streaker who jumped into the Japanese Emperor's palace moat. I was interested in the principle of the news, which is showing embarrassment without big harm for fun. For me, impact means positive and humorous reaction. I decided how to represent this principle. This idea development took the longest time of my four projects. I was brainstorming in many ways with some practical developments since October 2008. Finally I came up with the idea of scanning people's bum."
So she did. And while we're not sure we agree that "the arse is the window to the soul" - we can certainly accept that she's come up with a piece of art that's got chins wagging.
Still, I'm gonna come right out and say that designing a piece of furniture for this purpose not only kills all the fun of photocopying your butt, it offends my sense of skylarkery. It's like a high school teacher rolling up to class with spitballs artistically pre-strewn through her hair, or a kid that gives himself a pre-emptive wedgie before he gets on the bus. It's just not sporting, and I find it quite upsetting.
My sense of symmetry would only be returned if some scallywag were to break into the exhibit and use the iBum to photocopy a stack of tax documents. Tally ho, chaps!