Got a new iPhone? Have you thought about what you’ll do with your old phone? Media artist Julia Christensen is interested in what happens to pieces of technology when we’re done with them, so she made a fascinating work called BURNOUTS from upcycled iPhones. The work consists of donated iPhones that Christensen installed in 3D printed containers, featuring mirrors and lenses from discarded overhead projectors, in order to cast animated images of retired star constellations upwards onto a ceiling.
Just like the constellations illustrated in her work, Christensen connects the dots between our relationships to old technologies to create a new picture of how we understand them. Not only were these constellations edited from star charts due to increasing light pollution from Earth, but they were all constellations named for antiquated technologies, just like old phones and overhead projectors used to emit illuminated images of them.
The projection of these five constellations is a poetic metaphor for the technology producing the image––just as the constellations are still there and yet no longer in use, so are our own outdated gadgets.
Although we clearly have a long way to go toward improving how we deal with electronic waste, Christensen’s work is a stunning demonstration of the tremendous potential for creative expression using technologies that we might otherwise throw away. So, if you’re looking for a new project (or a new projector), you might want to think twice before you get rid of that old phone!
[via prothetic knowledge]