Bits of Earth, 2016
Site specific live performance.
Duration: 30 mins
Bits of Earth, is a live performance that expands our sense of time by bringing attention to materiality of digital life. Digital media promises of a more environmentally healthy world free of paper and deforestation, yet it remains very physically present and undead in various strata of the earth. This work is inspired by ideas of media theorist Jussi Parrika who writes “deep time of the planet is inside our machines, crystallized as part of the contemporary political economy: material histories of labor and the planet are entangled in devices”. The performance builds upon Parrika’s work to talk about our commodified attention and distraction and its complex relationship with earth’s ecologies.
Extremely slow-paced, performers walk through different public spaces holding a variety of rare earth minerals from which our digital devices, and particularly the iPhones, are made. With a close attention and deep focus on these objects in their hands as they walk, the performers from afar look as though they are hypnotized by the most addictive game app.
Photo by: Joel Frank