Why did Apple brand the death of Steve Jobs?
Thrift, thrift, Horatio, the funeral bak'd-meats
Did coldly furnish forth the marriage tables.
William Shakespeare, Hamlet Act I Scene II
I do not have a favourite brand. Whenever I find myself drawn into the shiny matrix of a brand’s ‘look’, I become sceptical, questioning the tactics that have led me there. Of how that brand has managed to add to, overwrite and extend the identity of a specific product beyond its unmarked ontology: whether it be an object such as a camera by Nikon, or a service, as with the bank Natwest. Of how brands covertly seize upon social spaces and inflect the praxis of user-consumers, dynamically reconfiguring one’s relations to local environments and distorting one’s perception of archetypal experiences we previously deemed ‘sacred’. More than any other brand I can think of, Apple’s marking of technology appears the most integrated, seamless and beguiling.
do not forget me, do not leave Apple
This colonization of public space is actualized by the arbitrary movements of a taxi cab, which operates as a mechanized substitute for Jobs’ lived body. Transgressing one of the central oppositional binaries of Western civilization – life : death :: presence : absence – Apple fascistically converts Jobs dismembered body into an iconographical engine whose imminent death rites demand the attention of the urban masses.
- Thomas Hastings