Louis Henderson’s All that is solid and Francois Knoetze’s Core Dump explore the material trace of our digital present- from the energy required to run data centers and server farms, to the environmental and human costs of rare earth mineral extraction and the e-waste trade.
Programmed in conjunction with Digital Earth Talks
Louis Henderson: All that is solid (2014)
This is a film that takes place.
In between a hard place,
a hard drive,
a soft space – the cloud that holds my data.
And in the soft grey matter,
Contained within the head.
All that is solid is a technographic study of e-recycling and neo-colonial mining filmed in the Agbogbloshie electronic waste ground in Accra and illegal gold mines of Ghana. The video constructs a mise-en-abyme as critique in order to dispel the capitalist myth of the immateriality of new technology – revealing the mineral weight with which the Cloud is grounded to its earthly origins.
Louis Henderson is a filmmaker who is trying to find new ways of working with people to address and question our current global condition defined by racial capitalism and ever-present histories of the European colonial project. Interested in exploring the sonic space of images, his work aims to develop an archaeological method in cinema, listening to the echoes and spirals of the stratigraphic. Henderson has shown his work at various film festivals, exhibitions and biennials worldwide. His work is in the public collection of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques, France, and is distributed by LUX and Video Data Bank.
Francois Knoetze: Core Dump (2019)
Set in Kinshasa, Shenzhen, Karlsruhe, Chengdu, New York and Dakar, Core Dump is an ongoing video series which explores the relationship between digital technology and colonialism. Core Dump considers the extractive nature of the tech industry and its origins, looking specifically at mining in the DRC, the dumping of e-waste on Africa’s west coast, and how notions of ‘progress’ and ‘mechanisation’ are falsely represented as products of the West, disregarding the contribution -both historically and in the current supply chain- of Africa. The films are rhizomatic assemblages of found footage, performance documentation and recorded interviews.
Francois Knoetze is a performance artist, filmmaker, and sculptor, currently based in Cape Town, South Africa. Knoetze’s practice explores the life cycles of discarded objects and the intersections of material and social histories. Using material waste as a medium, he creates elaborate sculptural suits that merge the human with the synthetic. His works have been presented at a wide range of national and international group exhibitions and festivals, including the Afropixel Festival & Dak’Art Biennale in Dakar (2018), LagosPhoto Festival, Nigeria (2015), and Syngenta Photo Awards Exhibition at Somerset House, London (2017).
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