E-Waste Works by Katherine Behar
Opening Reception: Saturday, November 7, 2015 from 6-8:00pm
Boston Cyberarts Gallery is pleased to present E-Waste, an exhibition of work by Brooklyn-based interdisciplinary artist Katherine Behar.
Behar’s installation centers on a series of sculptures inspired by a science fiction scenario in which commonplace USB peripherals are doomed to continue working long after the humans they were designed to serve have gone extinct. The gadgets are transformed into mutant fossils, encased in stone with lights blinking, speakers chirping, and fans spinning, eternally.
The exhibition also includes a video series, Modeling Big Data – in which the artist inhabits an obese, over-grown data body, to humorous and poignant effect, and a 3D printer installation, 3D-&& – in which a fossilized printer slowly produces “scarab” covers for a network of glowing USB mouses, while its motors chirp out messages in Morse Code.
Responding to digital culture’s intense escalation of productivity, Behar’s work wavers between poetry and parody. Eliciting sympathy for the devices we exploit, she suggests that we ourselves are becoming increasingly device-like. We are ensnared in compulsory productivity, whether “working” in the traditional sense for our own gain, or generating value for distant corporations each time we click “like.” Combining machine-made, handmade, and organic forms, E-Waste offers a physical parallel to the excesses of big data, highlighting the counterpart surplus of consumer media artifacts, and drawing attention to its environmental impact.