Dear Steve is a video letter addressed to Steve Jobs in which a new MacBook Pro is meticulously dismantled, allowing us a look inside this complex device that for most cultural workers is almost as familiar as a pet. This machine that is often deemed miraculous for modern-day work efficiency looks bare, naked and dysfunctional in its dismantled state, yet it remains a fascinating object.
In his laptop autopsy, Herman Asselberghs combines the dismantling performance with an ideological critique, voiced through the reading of the letter. Rather than directing the viewer toward a specific point of view, Dear Steve presents a subjective cartography of the contemporary globalized world, and of the state of mind in which contemporary society finds itself. The final image in Dear Steve – an overhead shot of all of the laptop’s components arranged on a table – could be seen as a kind of new world map.
Performer: Stan Wannet
Image and editing: Fairuz
Text: Herman Asselberghs
Coproducer/Codistributor: Auguste Orts, www.augusteorts.be
Video, color, 16:9, sound (Dutch spoken, English subtitles), 45'. An English spoken version is also available.
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Dear Steve by Herman Asselberghs (2010) from V2_ on Vimeo.