Tag Archives | waste

Agbogbloshie: the world’s largest e-waste dump – in pictures | Environment | theguardian.com

 

Adam Nasara, 25, uses Styropor, an insulating material from refrigerators, to light a fire

Adam Nasara, 25, uses Styropor, an insulating material from refrigerators, to light a fire

Agbogbloshie: the world’s largest e-waste dump – in pictures | Environment | theguardian.com.

 

Discarders of electronic goods expect them to be recycled properly. But almost all such devices contain toxic chemicals which, even if they are recyclable, make it expensive to do so. As a result, illegal dumping has become a lucrative business.

Photographer Kevin McElvaney documents Agbogbloshie, a former wetland in Accra, Ghana, which is home to the world’s largest e-waste dumping site. Boys and young men smash devices to get to the metals, especially copper. Injuries, such as burns, untreated wounds, eye damage, lung and back problems, go hand in hand with chronic nausea, anorexia, debilitating headaches and respiratory problems.

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Surveillance and Waste

From our friends at Discard Studies a post about a surveillance based art project

In her much-lauded series Stranger Visions, artist Heather Dewey-Hagborg creates busts from discarded genetic material collected in public places. It began sitting in a therapists office here in New York City, where she saw a hair lodged in a piece of furniture. “I stared at it for an hour,” she says. “I couldn’t stop wondering who it belonged to, and what I could find out about that person.” (Science Magazine). Based on her reading of forensic DNA prototyping, she took 11 found hairs and tested their DNA in a genetics lab. She then built three dimensional masks of those people based on the information she received about eye color, geographical roots, sex, and other traits (though an exact facial reconstruction from such testing is not possible– that is the stuff of science fiction and CSI-style television shows).

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CFP: Australian Anthropological Society Conference 2013

Australian Anthropological Society Annual Conference 2013 

Theme: The Human in the World, the World in the Human

Australian National University 6-8 November 2013

The theme of this conference embraces anthropology’s enduring commitments to grappling with the human condition in the widest terms. Yet it also directs attention to the ways in which the interrelated concepts, ‘human’ and ‘world’, receive critical disciplinary attention in the present. While anthropologists have always been interested in how particular environmental, social or political worlds shape and are shaped by human existence, the theme attends to the urgency that such questions take at a time when the limits and potentialities of what ‘human’ and ‘world’ mean are subject to searching re-examination. Climate change, developments in bio-technology, securitization and supply-chain capitalism, and processes of forced and voluntary migration are among an array of issues that challenge and stimulate the conceptual and ethnographic work of anthropologists in the present.…

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Dumpster Diving

Aliine Lotman (Anthro Dept, EHI, Tallinn University)

“Until the 19th century, the term ‘to consume’ was used mainly in its negative connotations of  ‘destruction’ and ‘waste’.  Tuberculosis was known as ‘consumption’, that is, a wasting disease.  Then  economists came up with a bizarre theory, which has become widely accepted, according to which the basis of a sound economy is a continual increase in the consumption (that is, waste) of  goods”              (Petr  Skrabanek 1994: 29).

The activity of rummaging through rubbish for usable things is known by many names: dumpster diving, freeganism, skipping, recycling and so on. As the communities of people involved in this activity are not exactly homogenous, with a common ideology, it is not too certain where the different terms originate.…

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The Lives of Property

Amy Hinterberger, Research Fellow, Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS), School of Anthropology and Museum Ethnography, University of Oxford Convened by the BioProperty Research Programme, Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, 20 & 21 September 2012

Objects of property have many lives. This international conference explored the paths that scientific and technological objects travel as they acquire or lose their status as property. Researchers from Europe, North American and Australia gathered at the Ship Street Centre in Oxford to discuss the many lives or property, from art and artefacts to the material travels of waste. The eclectic group of papers were grouped around four central themes: ‘Value, waste and material transitions’, ‘Advocacy and collective ownership’, ‘Artefacts in action’, and ‘Traveling property and the politics of place’.…

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Mark Dion and the Arts and Archaeologies of Waste

Mark Dion and the Arts and Archaeologies of Waste

– William Viney

[William Viney has a PhD in cultural studies and humanities from the London Consortium, University of London. An editor for Pluto Press and Pod Academy, his current research project examines the philosophical, artistic and anthropological significance of twins.  http://williamviney.com]

An interesting debate has simmered in the humanities about the relative importance of ‘waste’ in our material and historical imagination. This post has the modest ambition of asking what some theorists of archaeology have said about waste things, about the time waste objects seem to articulate and about the narrative interpretations that seek to chart the comings and goings of things. Having done this short tour about some secondary texts, I want to then compare those statements to a work of installation art that deals explicitly with the archaeologies of waste.…

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