Artist and Designer, Nikolas Bentel, is on a mission to bring human body back to the center of design. In an increasingly automated and manufactured existence, Bentel wants to "reinsert the human back into the human experience" by exclusively using his body to furnish the world around him, quite literally.
In collaboration with the New Museum's arts incubator, New Inc, Bentel is documenting his journey in the 6-part film series, All Purpose Nik. A cross between Nathan For You and Swiss Army Man, the latest installment in the series sees the artist creating the optimal positions for his body to be used as furniture. We see Bentel physically train his body to hold and support the weight required to be a chair, a coat rack, and a table and then patent those positions as methods of making furniture. Bentel brings his "Corpus Collection" to New York's International Contemporary Furniture Fair where he showcases the "furniture" to trade show-goers offering himself to be rented out.
Its a brilliant commentary on late-capitalism and how the sharing economy dissolves the border between the public and private sphere demanding that the individual always be available for labor. It isn't that much of a stretch to see Bentel's patent marketed as a new zero-waste TaskRabbit home furnishing solution. Less cynically, Brentel's designs are also a beautiful meditation on the elegance and resilience of the human form, asking us reevaluate our relationship to it as well as the objects that it comes into contact with daily.
You can watch the third installment of All Purpose Nik below ahead of the full film's release August 9th.
Photo via Nikolas Bentel