Dan Southwick, University of Toronto/Critical Making Lab;
Gabby Resch, University of Toronto/Critical Making Lab
Matt Ratto, University of Toronto/Critical Making Lab

Denver 2015: Open

The Blackbox Vending Machine is an interactive touchscreen-based kiosk that will ask conference participants to make a series of ethical, moral, social, and political decisions as part of a maker culture express experience. The name of this project satirizes the official slogan of Redbox, which reads: For one dollar, you buy 2 to 3 hours of happiness. It is also a sendup of two common tropes we regularly encounter in our lab's 3D printing-related work: the Star Trek replicator, a media technofuture black box promising that we will one day be able to easily and unproblematically materialize everything, by rearranging subatomic particles at the command of a human voice; and the MakerBot Replicator 3D printer, the preeminent black box in emerging maker culture, which trades on a similar promise in its marketing. Finally, the title acknowledges express culture embedded in these boxes, each of which is positioned as a device of immediacy and impulse.