Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Is microwaving an iPad art, or is it just idiotic?

I just lost 10 minutes and 55 seconds of my life and I want it back.

After watching the dOvetastic Microwave Theater's latest YouTube creation, I now not only fear this chunk of time has been lost forever, but I also have this overwhelming urge to punch someone in the face. In this video, the creator, Kenny Irwin, puts a brand new 3G 64GB iPad into a microwave. In full HD widescreen, you can watch the iPad slowly (and I mean slowly) smoke up. Finally, at six and a half minutes, the device catches on fire. Oh, and did I mention there are replays? Ah, yes, just in case you missed anything. As for the host, who delivers his narrative in a smarmy and incredibly annoying voice, he makes you want to scratch out your eyeballs. Take a listen (and keep your hands away from your face).

<object width="600" height="365"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="600" height="365"></embed></object>

iPad sales hit the one million mark just as the 3G version went on sale in the U.S. While there have been several YouTube videos of the earlier iPad models being smacked around with a baseball bat or mulched in a blender, I suppose it was only a matter of time before a video of this newest version being destroyed surfaced.

Story continues below advertisement

It's a trend that's been around for years -- YouTubers line up to get their hands on the hottest new tech toys and abuse them. It seems there is no end to the cult of destruction online.

When it's just teenagers wrecking stuff, I suppose I was somewhat more understanding. After all, they haven't yet reached the age when they can (all) think for themselves, but now companies and, gasp, yes, adults are in on the game. What's most hurtful in this recent video is that the YouTube destroyer calls himself an artist. As his profile says, "Welcome to dOvetastic Microwave Theatre, the original home of ongoing microwaving entertainment & art." To date, the Theatre has filmed 365 microwaving episodes (as per their profile, fans donate money to help keep the show going). Kenny did his first "performance" at age six, when he microwaved a lightbulb (I don't know about dear Kenny's mom, but if my son ever tries to do something like this I will encourage him to a visit to a therapist).

Now, this destruction isn't just upsetting because I'm an Apple user. In fact, I'm not even a huge fan of the iPad (yet). What is most discouraging is that these devices aren't cheap. Starting at $500, it seems to me that destroying them is a monumental waste of money. Also, and this is the Mom in me talking, there are so many kids in our communities who would die for the opportunity to get their hands on their very own iPad (let alone thousands of Canadian adults still waiting for the late May release in this country), for learning and entertainment opportunities, and they'd treat a new device like this with a whole lot more respect than Kenny and his destroyer friends (or destroyer enemies is probably more accurate since I suspect these YouTubers are in direct competition for the most views).

You might be thinking, Hey, MacArthur, lighten up!, but you probably haven't yet sat through the entire 10 minutes and 55 seconds of depressing footage. While I am a huge fan of many Internet memes, online phenomena that spreads virally, this is one trend that I can only hope goes away. In other words, bring back the Keyboard Cat and the Numa Numa kid, and let's pray together that a new light bulb goes off in Kenny's life and he discovers a different form of art.

Update: This issue bugs me so much, I sent Kenny Irwin some questions asking him to explain his so-called art. Kenny calls his show the original and longest running microwave entertainment show on the web

Amber Mac: How do you afford to microwave so many things (and pay for so many microwaves)?

Kenny Irwin: Most items are donated to the show worldwide but a few items I buy with the proceeds from show & artwork.

Story continues below advertisement

I have been microwaving for over thirty years, which started with microwaving a light bulb when I was six years old. I first thought of the idea of a microwave show to entertain in 1988 but there was no viable means to implement the concept at the time do to insufficient technology. In 1991 Sony introduced the first 8mm Sony Camcorder. I bought one from JCPenney and that is how it all began. I filmed 22 episodes of microwaving various objects for a school project and called it dOve's Fantastic Microwave Theater which received a very positive response. In early 2003 I aired some of my first microwaving episodes on my art website where it became officially known as dOvetastic Microwave Theater. Very shortly after Youtube was established moved I my show there to great success with over a million hits within the first year in early 2006.

I then began to show the results of art from what the microwavings were producing. Then I built the powerful AMIR 9000 One Ton Microwaving Robot in 2008 as the world's first robot with sole purpose to microwave. I created several spin off shows from 2007-2010 using a food processor robot, waffler robot and a pool heater called Can It Food Process?, Waffle This! & The Pool Heater Cooking Show. Today there are more than 500 microwaving episodes between both websites of mine at & on both Youtube & Bragster. Trademarks and copyrights are also filed under the name, ideas and concepts of all my work.

Amber Mac: How do you decide what is worthy of a microwaving?

Kenny Irwin: Basically just about any electronic or inanimate object is fair game for my microwave show and I am usually the first to microwave bold things like the OLPC, PS3, Microwaving an iCUBE, Gameboy Advanced, microwaving an iPhone and waffling an iPhone and so on. I have also been the only one to this day to successfully microwave just about most tesla devices out there.

Amber Mac: Why is the iPad video so darn long?

Kenny Irwin: The iPad production is not intended to be just a quick-and-dirty I-am-going-to-destroy-this video and it is not just a video strictly for a quick-fix of laughs. Like with most of my work, it tells a story, has a climax and a finished result that should be compelling and interesting. My work ranges from 2-14 minutes depending on the complexity and explanation of the item being microwaved.

Story continues below advertisement

Amber Mac: What do you have to say to the people who think your art is simply destructive?

Kenny Irwin: People who do not know the show or my work or do not follow it do not really know the true motives of my work. The concept of my microwave art as with much of my art is to transform everyday mass produced objects into new life as works of art that make people think and wonder. Additionally the concept is unique to my show and my art and I am anti-destructive in reality. I like to make things that did not exist out of things. It has always been my way from my drawings, Pakistani Starfleet Series, the annual light show of more than seven million lights, ceramics, CGI, installation art, sculpture, robotics and so on. I look at something there or something not there and I think......well what if???

Some of the works I have produced have landed me in a as a featured artist in a major museum in Baltimore, a gallery and more national and international media than I can mention.

Amber Mac: Do you think there is an end to your microwave art? What might be your next big thing?

Kenny Irwin: Today this day dOvetastic Microwave Theater has had more than 10,000,000 views and has inspired many others since. My plans are to produce at least 1,000 total microwaving episodes, which will feature other spectacular things being microwaved like a possibly in the future, a MacBook Air and each of the next generation consoles all transformed into art as close as possible to their release days. Art made from the process of microwaving.

Additionally my ultimate goal is to build the BARA 70000KW capable of microwaving a Ferrari and transforming that into art. I have believed every since I was little that that who in the world would not want to see a Ferrari get microwaved? Whether they loved or hated the very thought of it, they would have to see it out of irresistible curiosity. Let your imagination run wild with the kind of views and advertising revenue that would generate globally from a project that cost no more than to build your typical strip mall around the corner. I estimate it would be watched more than all the Superbowls of the NFL combined in history.

If people want to see all of my art on exhibit, including microwave art, come to my one-man exhibition of at Crystal Fantasy of Palm Springs this Friday May 7th from 6 to 8 p.m. It's free and open to the public with food served.

Report an error
About the Author
Social Media Blogger

Amber MacArthur is a new media consultant, speaker, and journalist. As co-founder of agency, her team has managed social media initiatives for Tony Robbins, Canada Goose, Rogers, the American Dental Association, among other organizations. She is also an exclusive speaker with The Lavin Agency where she keynotes dozens of conferences across North America every year. More

Comments are closed

We have closed comments on this story for legal reasons. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.