Sunday, 10 March 2013

Tassimo and Archigram

One of the reasons I like Tassimo coffee (and I generally don't like coffee) is the artificiality of it. There is the play of the machine for one thing, at the simple press of a button it gurgles and hisses at your command, and to very precise tolerances and for very particular (and short) time periods. This is not boiling the kettle, this is manufacturing to the highest level. Of course all the ingredients, the two pods I use, one 'creamer', one 'expresso' are hardly in actuality (I assume) or as presented, natural. I have no idea what is in them, and what's more the process is more comfortably suited to making a single coffee for yourself, and not for others. It is anti-social. Others get in the way of enjoying the process; the necessarily discarded pods begin to mount up, disturbing and making a mess of one's little mechanized fantasy world and making it fiddly. Accommodating others is fiddly.
The machine is cheap, but the 'pods' (for want of a better term) are expensive, and they have to be ordered in advance for fear of disappointment in Tescos. If there is anything to be avoided in Tescos, it's disappointment, since our reaction is always, 'look it must be here somewhere' or 'they must have moved it', and so on. I have even found myself staring at the shelves almost believing 150ml of Ketjap Manis will suddenly appear like magic! Such bewilderment only encourages worry and we worry enough already.
Hence I am beginning to appreciate the genius in the Tassimo, having first encountered such a machine in a cottage in the wilds of West Cork, where it's owner no doubt also enjoyed such technocracy in retreat. He'd made, with his Tassimo, his cottage in to a space craft with none of the disadvantages of outer space, and enjoyed all the power of using it no doubt, making sure never to run out of pods, and enjoying the utopian pleasure in pressing buttons for sensual reward by himself whilst sitting in arcadia.
That's all very Archigram if you ask me.

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