February 26, 2024

V&A Digital Futures : Dreaming Zero Waste: The art of fixing electronics in Europe and Africa ‏

A public workshop at the Victoria and Albert Museum combining digital art, hands-on electronics repair, and a live-video exchange with an active electronics repair community in Kenya. Part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Connected Communities Festival 2016.

Phones, tablets, and other consumer technologies are discarded at an ever-increasing pace. In 2016, 45 million metric tons of e-waste will be generated worldwide, and in the coming years this amount is expected to grow at a rate of 5-10% per year, making it one of the fastest growing global waste streams. This troubling development is spurred on by rapid product obsolescence, the increasing difficulty in replacing broken parts, and a general lack of familiarity with repair possibilities.


Dani Ploeger – Charging (2014-15)
Two tablet computers have been made unbreakable by wrapping them in plate steel. Only the charging sockets remain accessible.
They will be charging for a long time.

‘Dreaming Zero-Waste’ is a half-day workshop event encouraging participants to rethink their everyday interactions with technology and electronic waste, and to start fixing their own electronic devices instead of throwing them away. Free and open to the public, the event offers a presentation of digital artworks created around the theme of technology, longevity and waste, and there will be an opportunity to interact via video live-stream with an active e-waste repair community in Nairobi, Kenya. These elements will be the setting for a repair workshop where visitors will get hands-on guidance in basic electronics repair skills provided by London-based social enterprise The Restart Project.
As part of the event, artist Dani Ploeger will be traveling to Nairobi to meet local repairers. By facilitating a dialogue with this community, the event seeks to propose the inventive approaches to electronics repair that are widespread in Kenya as an inspiring example to counter the technology throw-away culture that is prevalent in the UK and other European countries.

Visitors are invited to:

Bring their own broken electronic devices to repair
Learn tricks of the trade from inventive repair experts in Nairobi and London
Discover exciting artwork that rethinks everyday technology, waste and repair
Engage in discussion around electronic waste and the lifespan of everyday technologies

Friday 15 April 2016, 4:30-9:00pm
Learning Centre Seminar Room 3
Victoria and Albert Museum
Reserve a free ticket on Eventbrite
V&A Digital Futures is a monthly meet-up and open platform for displaying and discussing of work by professionals working with art, technology, design, science and beyond.  It is also a networking event, bringing together people from different backgrounds and disciplines with a view to generating future collaborations.

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