Acetone, Oystercard, RFID
3 1/4 x 2 1/8” (8.4 x 5.3 cm)
In an effort to strip the Oystercard down to its essence, Woebken melted it in acetone, revealing its bare coil wire and attached RFID chip. He then explored the functionality of the wire-and-chip core by testing it on London’s buses and Oystercard machines, simply holding it in his hands or taped onto a piece of blank paper. In most cases, the transaction, distilled to a simple beep and feedback mechanism, still worked. Woebken uses his experiment to comment on the stripped-down, data-driven nature of transactions—from drawing cash from an ATM to using credit cards to pay for a piece of candy—and how different devices modify our behaviors and create new meanings.