Litany of Precariat
of Precariat, 2019, AVU Publishing House, Prague, photo:
wasn’t fascinated only by the visual aspect of the phenomenon but also by the
meanings it carries and refers to by its very existence. Step by step, I became
convinced that a critical analysis of unboxing could shed a light on the inner
workings of the contemporary society. In the following months, I spent a few
hours a day watching videos of boxes with computers and other gadgets being
unpacked. I felt like an explorer discovering a new continent full of compelling
videos capturing the unpackings of new, beautiful and desirable products.
shy beginnings, the unboxing evolved into a peculiar genre with its own
celebrities and simple rules. The camera captures the hands and the packed
product from the height of about one or one and a half metre. The whole process
of “undressing” of the product of its wrapping is accompanied by voiceover.
Using a sharp tool, the hands open the package and slowly show its contents.
The angle from which the scene is captured is of great importance. The camera
is slightly tilted to create an impression in the viewer that it is her own
hands unpacking the object. The hands traverse the surface of the wrapping
neurotically – obsessively even – and tear everything that stands in their way
while the voice of the youtuber tries to objectively inform the viewers what
does the object look like and what are its features. The contrast between the solemn
voice and the impulsive action of hands is so stark that it looks like there
are actually two people performing in the scene.
oldest video on YouTube labelled as unboxing was uploaded on June 12, 2006
(Nokia E61 phone). The first unboxing videos were created as an answer of the
big American online shopping websites to the recurrent complaints of the
customers that the purchased product doesn’t match the photographs on their