Dismantling our electronics, piece by piece

Dismantling our electronics , piece by piece

The exhibition “Dismantling Your Electronics” by Lou Fozin is open to the public until October 16, 2022 at the Maison-Pierre-Chartrand, in Rivière-des- Meadows.

Until October 16, a digital art exhibition exploring the world of electronic devices and inviting reflection on the conditions of their production is presented at the Pierre-Chartrand house in Rivière-des-Prairies.

L he “Dismantling Your Electronics” exhibition was set up in 2019 by Lou Fozin, a member of the Ada X Bilingual Feminist Artist Center. In an interview with “Métro”, the artist presents the subject of his bilingual exhibition and what is hides behind our electronic devices.

“The general subject of the exhibition is to explore the multiple aspects of the digital universe, from the production of electronic devices with the extraction of minerals to the transformation of these minerals in factories, and also to explore the marketing and the sale of electronic products, all this while avoiding criticizing and suggesting things to people,” explains Lou Fozin.

Disassembling electronic devices

The exhibition is divided into three segments, each with various stations dealing with electronic devices in different ways. One of the segments explores the different components of our cell phones using augmented reality.

Using their cell phone, the person aims at the screen, like a QR code , and it can then see emerging bauxite, cassiterite and copper in the raw state. These three minerals are used for the manufacture and operation of electronic devices.

“I wanted to create links with everyday objects of average citizens. When he or she looks at the screen in augmented reality, aluminum foil, tomato canes and black pennies appear so that people understand what minerals are contained in our devices according to these objects”, underlines the artist.

On another screen, and still using the visitor's cell phone, appears a video of Congolese miners exploiting certain minerals. This is followed by an advertisement for a state-of-the-art cell phone symbolizing the latest technological advances. This juxtaposition of videos leads the person to question the real modernity of electronic devices since the work, usually hidden, of miners who use archaic tools such as shovels and sieves is necessary to produce them.

What's more, Lou Fozin learned to code to create his work and make it interactive. The artist specifies that the code is an important component of electronic devices since the series of commands necessary for their use must be understood as a facet in their own right, in the same way as minerals.

Dependence on our devices

Beyond the minerals contained in our cell phones and their origin, Lou Fozin hopes that his exhibition will help people understand the realities surrounding the almost natural accessibility of electronic devices.

The artist argues that we are addicted to our electronic devices, jokingly saying that you need one to appreciate his work. Although there are companies like Fairphone selling fair trade cell phones, access to such electronic devices is difficult due to high costs and little public awareness of this issue.

I couldn't work without an electronic device either, since I do digital art. We are all under the umbrella of the colonial project, so it is difficult to consume fairly, especially electronic devices. All I can do as an artist is make people understand and open their minds.

Lou Fozin, digital artist

Raise awareness by reimagining electronic tools

< p>Another part of the exhibition is a station where there is documentation of Lou Fozin's creative process as well as works created during a workshop led by the artist.

“During the workshop, each person received a map of a different country and a set number of marbles. Each of the marbles represented a different mineral and their limited number was thought to set up a spirit of limited resources as in reality”, explains Lou Fozin.

Dismantling our electronics, piece by piece< /p>Station where several electronic gadgets are reimagined during a workshop led by Lou Fozin. Photo: Courtesy of Stéphanie Lagueux, Ada-X, 2022.

After the creative exercise, an exchange was planned so that people could understand how each of the minerals is used to make our devices work, thereby illustrating the interdependence resources and the complex process for having a cell phone in our hands.

Lou Fozin has also set up a five-week digital art workshop in collaboration with the Maison des young people from Rivière-des-Prairies, in order to continue this awareness-raising work by encouraging young people to reimagine electronic devices and create new ones.

“One of the main goals of this workshop is to extend our understanding of why we create electronic devices. Phones can be used for much more than going on social media or consuming products,” argues the digital artist.

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