Toys that need help
Berg and Dentsu have made Suwappu, toy animals imprisoned in tiny digital pens that follow them wherever they go, tolerant and understanding of the dark inner lives each lead and the destructive impulses that follow bad dreams, dreams made of unbalanced psyches and snippets of the commercial fog surrounding them. At the mercy of promotional messages from car manufacturers and record companies, they struggle to connect their debilitated and half-formed consciousnesses, trying to assert basic values of trust and dependence as best they can with their stunted minds.
Their situation reminds me of the sort of existential struggles Russell Hoban’s toy characters live with, the drummer and the clock in the Mouse and his Child, the wind-up tin frog in love with La Gioconda, with their personalities crushed almost into nothingness by the constraints of their form and experience, tiny glimmers of self trapped in a hallucinatory interdimensional timelessness. I don’t think Badger will ever stop having bad dreams.