[NetBehaviour] Bodies of Planned Obsolescence: Digital performance and the global politics of electronic waste
irini at watermans.org.uk
Sat Jul 4 14:34:23 CEST 2015
I am very pleased to announce our new exhibition at Watermans, Bodies of
Planned Obsolescence: Digital performance and the global politics of
The exhibition is the result of an amazing journey and a collaborative
research project that started in London, continued to Lagos and Hong Kong
and came to an end in London this week.
Bodies of Planned Obsolescence is an art-science research project that
engages with the global economy of discarded electronics. Old computers and
other electronic appliances from countries in the West, including the UK,
are often exported to West-Africa and China. As part of the project, an
international group of artists, cultural theorists and scientists followed
this global stream of waste to Nigeria, Hong Kong, and the UK, and took
part in e-waste recycling labour on dumps and in factories in these places.
In a journey filled with piles of all sorts of electronic materials and
devices, from old flat screen TVs to computers and household appliances;
keyboards and other plastic shells; CDs, DVDs and their boxes; cables and
other peripherals, the research group spent a few (adventurous!) days
working at an e-waste dump site connected to the Alaba market in Lagos, an
enormous market in the western outskirts of Lagos which includes one of the
biggest used electronics trading sites in Nigeria. Following Lagos, the
group travelled to Hong Kong, where they participated in electronic waste
recycling labour, dismantling computers and monitors, but where they also
explored the consumer world and trade at used and new electronics markets.
During the last part of their research, the group spent a week working
together at Watermans and exploring e-waste recycling sites around London.
Bodies of Planned Obsolescence forms a platform for artists and academics,
but also looks to open public debate and discussions around the
problematics of e-waste.
'Bodies of Planned Obsolescence' is funded by the Arts and Humanities
Research Council (AHRC) and The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama,
University of London.
The exhibition will be open from 5-24 July and on Saturday 4 July, there
will be a public event from 2-6PM and great opportunity to meet and chat
with the participants, Dani Ploeger, Shu Lea Cheang, Neil Maycroft, Chris
Williams and Hannah Millest, who will be sharing their experiences and
I hope you can join us!
All the best
Head of New Media Arts Development
40 High Street
Direct line: +44 (0)20 8232 1012
Admin: +44 (0)20 8232 1020
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