EX SITU: Colony Relocation for Electronic Detritus (2014)

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4-connectors5-cablesinsnowEmerging generations of artificial intelligence and nano systems challenge the notion that humans and machines occupy completely separate realms.

“Ex-situ conservation” is a last resort methodology of protecting an endangered species of plant or animal by unnatural means—by moving a part of its population to a new location. Zoos are an example of ex-situ conservation.

The project is the creation of an “album” of electronic elements situated as surviving artifacts in the natural landscape with a text describing their origin, usage, eventual pervasiveness and finally, obsolescence. The objects will be posed “ex situ” as the detritus of obsolescent technologies as if they were “endangered” species of technology placed in the natural environment in order to foster their survival. The project requires time in residence in a natural environment in order to create photomontages for eventual dissemination through a book to be published by Weil Books, a New York-based small art press.

Photos would depict the detritus of man-made objects as isolated from their like population for preservation and illustrate how the fast pace of obsolescence impacts the environment. The irony is in applying pathos to inanimate artifacts as reverse psychology to reverence of technology at any price to the environment.

This work would deal with the smallest common denominator, cogs, computer chips, breadboards, potentiometers, microcontrollers, diodes, resistors, transmitters as evidence of discarded technological parts replaced by a newer technologies such as nanotechnology and biological modeled elements which are just in view.

By re-locating isolated elements of electronics, mechanics and hardware into an exquisite rural environment, it will seem that the man-made elements of machine, electronics and hardware are in imminent danger of extinction. That the pace of technological advance in our age continually accelerates has its good and bad points; it narrows the interim space for nostalgia, for better or worse.

We create machines and electronics to extend our physical and mental capabilities, and at times we anthropomorphize them as if they have a life of their own, endowing them in our fiction and films with an envious desire to be humanlike.
Imaging will take place both inside (still life) as “still life” and outside the studio (en plein air).

Sites for photos: Chatham Towers Plaza, Chinatown, New York, Wildacres Retreat, Little Switzerland, North Carolina, tba….

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