iPhones Converted into DIY Projectors Convey E-Waste Epidemic
11th February 2015
Artist Julia Christensen creates installations crafted from what we have deemed discarded media
In her ongoing body of work Project Project, multi-disciplinary artist Julia Christensen aims to create awareness and discussion on the cultural relationship people have with e-waste or discarded electronic products and “old” technology. Project Project includes several projects that are launched from 2014 to 2016. One of these projects involves old iPhones that have been turned into DIY projectors.
In her project titled Burnouts, media artist Julia Christensen creates installations made from discarded pieces of electronics, more specifically old iPhones that she has fashioned into DIY projectors that look like stasis chambers when lit.
The project consists of a series of five sculptural video projectors made from old iPhones, discarded parts of old projectors, and 3D-printed outer casings. Light from the unused iPhones is directed through lens and mirrors from old projectors, and an animation is then projected onto the ceiling.
According to Christensen’s description of the project, the use of old electronics – slightly outdated iPhone, in this instance – and new technology – 3D printing – to create the projectors is a commentary on how fast people go through technology. What’s new today can easily become old tomorrow, per se.
These installations project animations of constellations that have become obsolete and excluded from star maps since they can no longer be easily seen from Earth and have been considered no longer useful. To create the animations, Christensen worked with astronomers and staff from a planetarium to pinpoint where these ‘obsolete’ constellations used to be visible. The artist used five of these constellations for her DIY projectors: The Hot Air Balloon, Herschel’s Telescope, The Sundial, The Electric Generator, and The Printing Office.
According to Christensen, projecting the animations of these five obsolete 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technology producing the image – just as the constellations are still there and yet no longer in use, so are our own outdated gadgets.”
Burnouts debuted at the Center for Ongoing Research & Projects in Columbus, Ohio in March 2014. Another project, The Chuck Close Tapes, is an installation of VHS tapes that were supposedly owned by Chuck Close. The project was shown at Eyebeam on the same month as the premier of Burnouts.
Project Project is supported by the Creative Capital Foundation which aids individual artists through counsel, funding, and career development services.