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Making and Breaking: Electronic Waste Recycling as Methodology

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Part of the Palgrave Studies in Performance and Technology book series (PSPT)

Abstract

This chapter proposes a practice-based methodology to investigate the materiality of electronic waste (e-waste), which formed the basis of the art-science research project ‘Bodies of Planned Obsolescence: digital performance and the global politics of electronic waste’. Building on anthropologist Tim Ingold’s concept of ‘making’, a widened understanding of the term ‘digital performance’ informed shared practical activities of a group of scientists, cultural theorists, and artists. During two field-research workshops in Hong Kong and Lagos, Nigeria, researchers participated in e-waste recycling in a factory and on a dump site. Thus, in this approach to practice-based research, the practical aspect of the research process does not concern the production of artworks, but instead involves shared participation in labour with materials. A process of shared reflection on this practical work may lead to outcomes in the form of new research avenues within the various disciplines of the participating researchers.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The Royal Central School of Speech and DramaUniversity of LondonLondonUK

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