Coffee, ice-coffee, Internet, honey and sambal are the first things which pop up in my mind when I'm asked about my addictions. I don't consider myself as an addiction sensitive person. This is confirmed by the fact that I am an occasional smoker for over 10 years. A cigarette, with a drink in my hand, is my delightful sin, my casual revenge against "good sense". It's Saturday and tonight, I won't smoke, I will vape.
While writing this article, I'm vaping an electronic cigarette. The 'e' in front of 'cigarette' is caused by the virtue of writing this article. Finally I bought one, it's two years ago that e-cigarettes made it to our inspiration folder. As our eyes are focused to find paradoxical, twisted and ambiguous matters, it did not take much time for these battery powered healthy cigarettes to grab our attention. We noticed that e-cigs are being dissed as counterfeit ciggies but cancer sticks simply aren't the future, in the twenty-first century we better serve our addictions in a healthy way.
As artists, we are obsessed with the future and genuinely attracted to visionary technology. We're always looking for high-tech implications in all different places. What especially excites us is the technological liberation of the user, in this case the smoker.
We find expelling the (e-)cigarette too simplistic, smoking is part of humanity. Since ancient times, people do smoke in one form or the other. Also, state restrictions of personal habits have always freaked us out and prohibitions always made things only more fascinating. E-cigarettes allowed smokers to keep smoking their nicotine but this time without tar and 40 other evils. Currently, most medical professionals rate e-cigarettes as 99% harmless. So we can say that technology updated the old cigarette and made the damages smoking caused disappear.
Medically and morally, Smokers have longtime been demonized. In spite, or due to that, I frequently found smokers very sexy. It excites me to see an attractive smoker sensually inhaling his/her dangerous smoke while he/she knows that the cigarette is self-destructive. I find it exciting how smokers are taking risks for short lasting pleasures and satisfactions. Smokers provoke, break rules and they reveal an alluring human weakness. While smoking, they, at least the pretty ones, look naughty and decadent with a dreamy intellectual touch.
I don't want to be nostalgic, thus I would like to go beyond the dark attraction of unhealthy smoking and move on to the safe plastic glow stick. E-cigarettes, their shiny steel tubes and LED lights, have their own cybernetic charisma. I also find it so powerful how an e-cigarette can transform a no into a yes: they don't stink up your breath, brown your teeth, wrinkle your skin nor do they kill you. Their appeal is functional instead of romantic, perfectly in sync with our current obsessions with efficiency.
What about their artistic functions? Electronic cigs fit with cutting-edge dandies, post-internet aesthetics, tight and healthy bodies and other contemporary sensualities. They have a certain renewed sensation, a robotic one that combines the attraction of machinery with the notorious, inherently sexy, oral fixation. I like the sensation of the clean technological water-vapor around my face. It's sexy and smart how the e-cigs separated the addictive part, the nicotine, and vanished the destructive parts like smoke and tar.
Some people consider an e-cigarette as the wimpy counterfeit of a cigarette but an e-cig has its own controversial and paradoxical badness. It's 'evil' how the e-cig, disguised in a steal jacked of high tech luxury, continue the vaper's nicotine addiction. But let's be honest, bad habits are not only evil, they're functional, they provide us with inspiration.
I would like vaping to become more innovative. Although I have sympathy for the artificial and mimical look of the current e-cig, I still find them too heavy and plastic. I want my personal vaporizer to be unique, light-weight and easy adjustable with my mood and style choices of the day.
Besides the possibility to choose between flavored e-juice like menthol, marlboro, organic piña colada or bubblegum, I would like to be able to optimize my nicotine hit with anti-wrinkle vitamins and teeth-bleaching breath refreshers. When I exhale, I would like the color of the vapor, aka my new hydrating face mist, to display my mood. This way the problem of anti-smoking fanatics with e-cigarettes "re-normalising smoking", would also be solved. Meanwhile, I'll stay an occasional smoker and an incidental vaper, waiting for the next big e-cig update.
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