Energy

Massoud Hassani. Mine Kafon wind-powered deminer. 2011

Bamboo and biodegradable plastics, 87 x 87 x 87" (221 x 221 x 221 cm). Gift of the Contemporary Arts Council of the Museum of Modern Art

Curator, Paola Antonelli: You are looking at a mine detonator actually called Mine Kafon that was designed by Massoud Hassani. Massoud grew up in Afghanistan, and when he, his brother, and their friends would play sometimes they would make these paper toys, and sometimes these toys would roll onto minefields carried by the wind and they could not be retrieved anymore. So that remained in his mind and he decided to transform these toys into mine detonators.

The mine detonator looks almost like a beautiful dandelion and is made with a central core that is rotational molded plastic. So very, very easy to make pretty much everywhere in the world. And then these stems that are of bamboo also an easy material to find and to grow and these little feet are also made of plastic. And once pushed onto the minefield, the object is heavy enough to detonate a mine, but light enough that it can be carried by the wind. And when the mine explodes it, it explodes only in parts. So parts of it can be reused and reassembled into a new Mine Kafon. It was really about making it available everywhere in the world at low cost and very easy to deploy and very easy to fabricate.

Design comes in many, many forms. Sometimes it's whimsical and elegant, other times it's brutal in its appearance and yet beautiful because of how well it works. Well, Mine Kafon is kind of a mixture of both. It is a sculptural object without any doubt, but there's nothing in its form that is gratuitous. It all comes from this purpose of rolling onto a minefield and detonating a mine.

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