Toninho Dingl describes SULO-Y, a smart bin designed to patrol the streets, as a satire for the current capitalisation or development of new investment fields in the technology sector. The project is equipped with all the buzzwords of Industry 4.0—the idea of a fourth industrial revolution driven by high tech industries: Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning (ML) to improve efficiency, flexibility, and automation. It promises investors a profitable business and a better future.
Visually and conceptually, SULO-Y is hefted to the level of Tesla, Apple, and other “smart” technology phenomena, but the banality of the object turns it into a paradox of excess and also takes the mechanisms behind Industry 4.0 to absurdity. Dingl describes, “It’s actually the same ‘garbage’ merely more smartly designed, better marketed, and painted a little greener… just like SULO-Y, which doesn’t solve the garbage problems of over-accumulation or external costs, but is mainly meant to be a new investment field for our investors.” Quite literally, the investors should invest their money, gladly also Bitcoins, into the smart bin—WASTE YOUR MONEY! The main thing is to produce, consume, and invest more to maintain capitalist mechanisms.
The exaggeration of the “shiny” smart bin, the “shiny” web presence, and the “shiny” marketing in contrast to the reduction of artificial intelligence to its binary of zero and one—between “smart bin GO” and “smart bin STOP”—leads to the big doubt, which can also be found in the project name; SULO-Y …Why?
SULO-Y is part of Dingl’s critical body of work of paintings and sculptures in which language plays a major role, discussing the unstoppable capitalisation of our environment and ourselves. With a nod to filmmaker Alexander Kluge and the Frankfurt School, he treats every object definition as flexible in his contradictory work, aiming to dissolve and possibly reverse the “frozen conditions” of the viewer’s perception, or in the artist’s own words “sometimes you have to play things their own music to make them dance, or in this case their own algorithm.”