Day-to-Day Data
Anders Bojen & Kristoffer Ørum
Title: Detergent (Real imaginary system)
Location: Web-based commission for this website
Launch Project >

Anders and Kristoffer’s project explores the complex microcosms unearthed inside a box of ordinary, everyday soap. Inspired by the absurd and irrational science of Pataphysics, they have created a fantastic new history for this well-known substance. Eight new scientific bodies and businesses have been born, each with its own identity, URL and website. They are all very different, but are united through a similar ambition – the exploration or exploitation of the (until now) unknown properties of soap and its bubbles. The websites blur the boundaries between reality and fiction with their accounts of soap’s unique assets, including its proven medicinal qualities. When you launch the project, a website is selected at random out of the possible eight, each revealing a very different impression of this bubbly, magical material.
Detergent (Real imaginary system)
Detergent (Real imaginary system)
Gazing deeply into the box of detergent from our local supermarket we see unlimited potential: many systems of knowledge unfold from the qualities of this familiar object, creating almost impossible associations. The pseudo-scientific knowledge with which we are presented, when buying a box of detergent, develops into facts about lasers made of carrots and spinach, and soap bubbles as a new kind of medicine.

We perceive science as a place where the fictional and factual become indistinguishable, and where irrational and mystical knowledge is produced. Our view of science connects with our experience of the everyday and is exemplified through the box of detergent. Its smell, texture and colour are a whole series of sensory experiences. The detergent is surrounded by an entire universe of imagery, such as waves, vortexes, bubbles and whiteness in general. As such it becomes a significant part of the everyday mythology through which we see and understand the world.

Our research is based on what we read on the labels of things in the supermarket, on popular scientific literature and, especially, on the multitude of websites which contain deliberately misleading or misunderstood scientific facts. We want to believe everything, all of the conflicting / alternative visions of the world that these varied sources present us with.

In our laboratory we exchange our eyes for soap bubbles and they feel much better. With soap synapses instead of our organic ones, we are able to observe with a new sense of confidence. We simply help each other pull out our old ones and insert the glittery soap bubbles, caught amidst their graceful flight. Soap bubbles flow freely in our veins crackling as our blood passes from one of us to the other, linking us forever.

Anders Bojen & Kristoffer Ørum
April 2005

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