In Things Come Apart, McLellan exposes the inner working of 50 objects and 21,959 individual components as he reflects on the permanence of vintage objects built several decades ago—sturdy gadgets meant to be broken and repaired—versus today’s manufacturing trend of limited use and function followed by quick obsolescence. Captured in his photography are myriad parts laid flat and organized by function, creating recontextualized images of wagons, chainsaws, computers and phones. He also shoots high-speed photos of carefully orchestrated drops where pieces are shot midair as they come crashing down, creating impressive visual explosions. Also appearing in the book is his pièce de résistance, a Zenith CH 650 aircraft photographed as individual components.

The book is officially published on Thames & Hudson. All images copyright Todd McLellan courtesy the publisher.

via Colossal

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Bicycle, 1980s; Raleigh; Component count: 893. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Bicycle, 1980s; Raleigh; Component count: 893. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Chainsaw, 1990s; Homelite; Component count: 286. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Children’s Wagon, 2011; Schwinn; Component count: 296. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Laptop Computer, 2006; Apple; Component count: 639. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Smartphone, 2007; BlackBerry; Component count: 120. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Smartphone, 2007; BlackBerry; Component count: 120. Photo reproduced with the permission of Thames & Hudson.

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Swiss Army Knife, 2000s; Victorinox; Component count: 38.

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Typewriter, 1964 A Smith-Corona; Component count: 621

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Printer, 2005 Epson; Component count: 532.

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Toaster, 1970S Sunbeam; Component count: 151.

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Snowblower, 1970S This Mastercraft model; Contains 507 pieces.

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An up-close look at the many bike parts.

Disassembly behind-the-scenes:


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