Melbourne is a city of coffeesnobs. Consumption of coffee has become a communal act. Jodi Cheung’s machines are constructed with recycled materials, but at the same time juxtaposed with the production of wastage. Ready to breakdown anytime, they require a lot of human labour, create a mess, are horribly noisy, and produce terrible tasting coffee to boot – it is as though they are designed to fail.
By letting the participants operate the machines as they deem fit, the components evolve and adopt wonky and comical characteristics, resulting in an experimental open-ended process of chaotic “dysfunctionality”.
The use of commodities in art making does not serve to “elevate” their status. In an ironic yet literal sense, it simply churns out even more commodities.
Everyday life has subsumed into art making, and art, once placed in a gallery or public context, undergoes commodification, to be marketed or sold.