The microwave reduces the dozens of different steps usually necessary for the preparation of a respectable dinner to three distinct actions, accompanied by the characteristic sound of the microwave clock and its final ping. For a short two minutes the microwave interrupts the normal flow of life, framing a gap to be filled by other, unpredictable, activities. Yet beyond its immediate impact, on the one hand the microwave reflects far larger changes in the modern food-industry chain, of which it is a final yet crucial link, and on the other it profoundly impacts on daily behavior: from the specific term for heating food in Japanese—chinn-suru—to the various spaces used today to prepare and eat a meal, such as a corner in a convenience store or a bench under an office building. A microwave is not only a heater, steamer, baker, defreezer, but also a symbol of modern efficiency. As such, the microwave is always more than just a microwave.
Malte JungeMana WakamoriXiangjun Liu
Thing of Modernity – Mapping the Micro-geography of Everyday Environments