Padlock daisy-chains

Sculptor Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's piece "Nothing is more optimistic than Stjärnsund" is a curator's playset of modified, daisy-chain-able padlocks. I like the idea of a necklace of these things, lying flat like an industrialized, faux-Egyptian burial ornament.

This piece consists of twenty modified padlocks which can be interconnected to create chains or assemblages, as the collector or curator sees fit. The piece is intended as a construction kit with a plethora of possible combinations, like a Meccanno, and is a hommage to Lygia Clark's "Relational Objects". The title is a statement from the diary of the great naturalist Carolus Linnaeus, one of the fathers of modern ecology, from when he visited one of the first automated factories in Stjärnsund, Sweden in the 18th century.

Nothing is more optimistic than Stjärnsund (via Beyond the Beyond)


  1. Interesting stuff. I’m reminded of the chains of padlocks on the gates of facilities when multiple agencies need access at different times. For example, a water tower is owned by the water company, but various cellphone networks have their transmitters on the side, so they all have a padlock on the gate, and unlocking one padlock opens the gate.
    Those are regular padlocks though, not these special ones.

  2. Y’know, I don’t think there’s anyone interested in locks who hasn’t chained padlocks this way at one point or another. What’s different here is that he took a file to the staples (or created new staples with a cut running all the way around them, though given that these are cheap laminated locks I’m less inclined to believe that option) so they stay locked together in all orientations.

    Nice little insight, but it feels like the emphasis in that phrase is on “little”.

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