Saint-Chamond is a commune in the Loire department in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in central France. It lies in an iron and coal region, which were the basis of industrial growth during the 19th and 20th centuries. As many of the mines and factories closed in the late 20th century due to restructuring, there was a loss of jobs and population. Even so the link of this town with steel has been tight since the First World War, being a key part of its history.
Having these premises I wanted to connect these elements, usefulness, freedom and vices (habits), checking how they are interrelated. I though resorting to safety pins would be illustrative. These objects are pieces of steel with specific features, which makes them functional. The coil (vice, habit, propensity) makes steel trying to stretch; by controlling the freedom of its tendency it is useful to our purpose. I modified several times the location and direction of the vice getting different results, most of them could be classified in 2 groups :
- If it has freedom, either with vice or not, it’s useless - If it has no freedom, either with vice or not, it’s more o less useful but one case.
I got fascinated by this odd exception, the one without freedom, with vice but completely useless. It’s just a piece of steel with rarities. It’s only steel.