A research-based, ongoing series of drawings, exploring patents and how they are a way of observing and predicting the future whilst simultaneously holding back the human race. The works consider the repercussions of living within a world built around patents and intellectual property.
A patent is a type of intellectual property that gives its owner the legal right to exclude others from making, using, or selling an invention for a limited period of time in exchange for publishing a disclosure of the invention. The United States Patent and Trademark Office currently receives about 650,000 patent applications annually and issues grants to about 350,000 of those.
Patents were once a way of ensuring that your new invention couldn’t be stolen from you. As time has moved forwards how patents are used have changed. The big four tech companies now file thousands of patents every year, most of them detailing useless, completely speculative, future technology that may or may not appear in the future. It no longer matters if the invention is good, only that you were able to patent it before anyone else was able to, and in doing so preserving yourself a slice of one of a million potential futures.
The drawings feature several reproductions of past patents highlighting the various innovations that will be experienced in the future, accompanied by a number of fictional patents, combining the real and the imagined to speak about the absurd nature of capitalising on an unknown future.