Photographer Samuel Ryde snaps away in public bathrooms across the globe, documenting the distinct personality of hand dryers.
Some objects are so ubiquitous, so utilitarian, that they become invisible. The hand dryer is one such example. We tend to take notice only when it is broken, when our quest for hot air is met with an embarrassing moment of hand shaking or wiping, in an effort to remove the offending wetness as quickly as possible. The hand dryer also exists purely in the public realm, in offices and restaurants and municipal buildings. We have heard of people installing gold-plated toilets in their homes, but even the most basic of dryers would seem absurd in a personal bathroom.
Photographer Samuel Ryde documents both the visual qualities of the machine and its surroundings to create a surprisingly fascinating archive of shapes, forms, colours and text. What began as a diaristic Instagram account has now transformed into a book, cataloguing hundreds of dryers found across the globe in bars, museums, working men’s clubs and other public restrooms. For every curvaceous metal nozzle surrounded by clinical tiling, there is a sickly pink cube installed to match the wallpaper, or a heavily graffitied unit that has various out-of-order warnings scrawled alongside.
The pleasure found in each of these images stems from a strange mundanity, with some of the most exciting scenes coming not from the heavily branded presence of Dyson (whose advertorial-style foreword penned by the founder is barely worth mentioning) but the clunky outlines of more basic technologies. The shiny surfaces are often tarnished and battered but remain undoubtedly pleasing. – Read the full article at Elephant