Anyone who started smoking weed before the age of 18 or so is likely familiar with DIY smoking implements–devices crafted from soda cans, pieces of fruit, whatever’s available, that can be used to light up whenever there isn’t anything more legit around. Now, one of the most well-worn examples is getting immortalized in sculpture: artist Matt Collinshaw’s Innercity Inhalers are blown-glass replicas of water bottle bongs–homemade devices that cost pennies and take minutes to construct using a bottle, Bic pen, and some tinfoil–that cost upwards of $3,500 through the Damien Hirst-affiliated Other Criteria website.
It’s unclear whether you can even smoke out of the pieces, but maybe that’s not the point–apparently there’s some very serious commentary on the nature of urban living going on here. From Other Criteria:
Debased interpretations of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Air de Paris’, these works address the polluting, but also mind expanding effects of inner city air. One does not have to light the bong in order to get the desired effect – the visual distortion taking place when looking through the translucently coloured and partially melted bongs is a sensation not dissimilar to the perceptual disorientation of the drug smoker.
This is not the first time Hirst and Other Criteria have peddled luxury objets d’art based on the “low culture” of drugs. Nor will it be the last, probably.