In both Navarra and Saxony, there were plans to extract rare earth elements, which are used to produce mobile phones and other technological devices. Diary reflects an aspect that is not taken into consideration in the digital transition: the use of mineral resources and the rapid waste of technological devices. Mobile phones combine materials and rare earths that come from all over the world and come along with processes that are harmful to the environment.
Diary is a series of reverse glass paintings on mobile phone displays that I started in Berlin and Brandenburg, developed in the residency Begehungen 2021 in Chemnitz and continued in Navarra (Spain) at the Centro Huarte residency.
The painting involves reusing broken smartphone displays that I collect from mobile phone repair shops. During the process, I observe the image directly through the phone’s displays and cover it with watercolor until it disappears. Every display is marked with the exact coordinates of where it was painted. Each model of display will disappear in the future and be replaced by another one, so this artistic research is in two ways an archaeology of the medium. The work Diary reflects on a utopia: a possible circular economy where waste (phone displays) gets a new value through painting, opposing the damaging process of production of phones. In Berlin, I painted observations of nature and abandoned buildings, such as a barrack in Brandenburg. After that, I painted in Chemnitz and its surroundings other abandoned buildings (factories, stations, private houses). They show us a different time, a transition, in the world as we know it now, with digitalisation and the transformations coming along with it: mobile working forces, homeworking, the relocation of factories in other countries etc. In Navarra, I painted villages that were abandoned because of migration to the city and industrialisation.