Since the invention and proliferation of the photocopier, office clowns around the world have been united in a single desire - particularly around Christmas party time. Ignoring the jagged, buttock-splitting hazard of broken glass and the virtual certainty of dismissal should they be discovered, thousands of pranksters annually drop their strides or hike their skirts and enjoy the age-old ritual of photocopying their bums for their innocent co-workers to find in the out tray. Now, a Japanese designer has facilitated the process by designing a chair that automatically scans and prints a photo of your backside. Call me a traditionalist, but if it's not naughty, a bit dangerous and a blatant abuse of equipment, I can't see why you'd bother photocopying your bum at all. In fact, to me, the iBum chair seems to remove all fun from the act whatsoever.
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Japanese "interactive designer" Tomomi Sayuda had better hope the iBum won't be her most famous invention - although since the blogs got hold of it, the horse may have bolted on that one. We particularly like her explanation on how she came up with the idea:
"This project came from "impact" brief. My initial concern was the news about a naked British streaker who jumped into the Japanese Emperor's palace moat. I was interested in the principle of the news, which is showing embarrassment without big harm for fun. For me, impact means positive and humorous reaction. I decided how to represent this principle. This idea development took the longest time of my four projects. I was brainstorming in many ways with some practical developments since October 2008. Finally I came up with the idea of scanning people's bum."
So she did. And while we're not sure we agree that "the arse is the window to the soul" - we can certainly accept that she's come up with a piece of art that's got chins wagging.
Still, I'm gonna come right out and say that designing a piece of furniture for this purpose not only kills all the fun of photocopying your butt, it offends my sense of skylarkery. It's like a high school teacher rolling up to class with spitballs artistically pre-strewn through her hair, or a kid that gives himself a pre-emptive wedgie before he gets on the bus. It's just not sporting, and I find it quite upsetting.
My sense of symmetry would only be returned if some scallywag were to break into the exhibit and use the iBum to photocopy a stack of tax documents. Tally ho, chaps!