Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics

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Cracked Ray Tube, 2013
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Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics
Curated by: Kristen Kula

618 S. Michigan AVE
2nd floor
Chicago, IL 60605
February 7th, 2014 - February 7th, 2014
Opening: January 13th, 2014 5:30 PM - 8:30 PM

Michigan Ave/Downtown
Monday - Friday 9-5
Columbia College Chicago
Kristen Kula, columbia college chicago, The Arcade, Crystal Hodges and Linsey Burritt of INDO, Nate Crumpley, Kyle Evans, James Connolly, Patrick Lichty, Veronica Corzo-Duchardt, Sarah Frost, David Sieren, Eric Fleischauer, Maria Tzeka, digital, video-art, sculpture, photography, mixed-media, installation, performance


Many people crave the best technology available, seeking out the newest game system, phone, computer, tablet, programs, and more. Manufacturers are well aware of this demand for technological advances and make the smallest changes to their items in order to sell the “new” model the very next year. Further, many electronics are intentionally built not to last; planned obsolescence in technology is nothing new, but seemingly increased over time. Between the shoddy quality of gadgets and new items coming out annually, people insist they need the next upgrade. There is no slowing down to this hyper consumerism of technology resulting in a surplus of “useless” electronics.

Discarded focuses on the abundance of everyday electronics and constant upgrades of technology, while examining what happens to the previous versions when deemed no longer useful. This multimedia exhibition uses performances, interactive arts, mixed media, time-based works, and installations to display the excess of outdated electronic devices. Artists examine issues ranging from planned obsolescence of technology, the proliferation of unwanted electronics being re-appropriated as art materials, and the feeling of nostalgia for the "rejected" vintage items. Through this work, the exhibition uncovers narratives for the discarded items that often find a new life after being left behind.


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