We live in a digital world. People are always keen to ditch their [insert device here], and upgrade to the latest version. Our world is literally covered in electronic devices. And now it's made of them too.
In her latest installation, Susan Stockwell has transformed recycled computer parts to depict a map of the world. The installation, entitled “World,” creates provocative imagery that can be interpreted in different ways. Perhaps it suggests that the modern world we live in is consumed with electronics – emotionally and physically. People are glued to their glowing screens while piles of e-waste are accumulating in landfills across the globe.
Stockwell's work takes many forms from small elaborate studies to large scale installations, sculpture, drawings and collage. Her installations address issues like ecology, geo-politics, mapping, and global commerce. The materials she uses are from everyday, disposable products that pervade our lives.
Maybe Stockwell’s piece is a preview of what the world might look like if we don’t start handling our electronic waste problem properly. Recycling programs for electronics are great, but as the motto “reduce, reuse, recycle” states, recycling is not the best option – especially when new products are being pumped out at such a rapid rate.
How can we reduce the amount of e-waste produced? Less frequent product upgrades are one route, but unlikely to happen with technology advancing so quickly. With the ephemeral nature of consumer electronics, product designers and manufacturers should consider changing their material to match their short life cycles.
What do you think “World” means? Sound off in the comments section below!