‘hacking’ as means to a sustainable future : DesignWanted

A Ghanaian artist questioning and analyzing the nature of human consumption Akwasi Bediako Afrane uses a unique approach to contribute to the discussion surrounding the relationship between people, technology and the environment.

The artist’s project called TRONS ‘R’ Us considers consumer electronics as human “prostheses” that have become essential for providing us with information, storing images, videos and texts, and how these “prostheses” are made. ‘ is intended to be deleted and updated after a short period of time, thereby allowing producers to ‘effectively control society’.

The Akwasi project, a unique approach to artificial human-machine interaction, is part of the Human Driving Science and Art Collaboration (2020-2023). In this exclusive interview with DesignWanted, Akwasi shares the ideas behind TRONS ‘R’ Us and an in-depth introduction to the elements that make up the project: TRONS, installations, documentaries and workshops.

TRONS 'R' US by Akwasi Bediako Afrane - Driving the Human - Silent Green Betonhalle
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

Who is Akwasi Bediako Afrane? How did the journey as part of the 3-year Human Driving project begin?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“I am an artist living and working in Kumasi, Ghana. My interest in technology and how it interacts with humanity and the environment led me to TRONS in 2015. I made an offer after hearing about the 3-year open call for the Driving Human Project in 2021. The offer was accepted and that’s when the wonderful journey of Driving People began for me.

TRONS 'R' US by Akwasi Bediako Afrane - Driving the Human - Silent Green Betonhalle
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

Why TRONS ‘R’ Us, why focus on exploring and exploring the relationship between people, technology and the environment?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“Technology is at the pinnacle of human civilization, and what better way to represent technology than consumer electronics today? Personally, as a user of these devices, it’s very easy to get overwhelmed by the constant production and updates of these devices, and it’s very thought-provoking that I can’t keep track of a large number of devices.

As patrons, we collect and leave these secrets to compensate for our shortcomings. In the process, the black box is always left unexplored, as we unwittingly discard the secrets that hold our shared history and consciousness.

My practice is primarily driven by my interest, if not obsession, with technology, and by creating TRONS, I aim to stimulate dialogue around the relationship between people, technology and the environment.

Also Read :  Global Artificial Intelligence in Healthcare Diagnosis Market Hits US$ 66,811.97 million by 2027 | Grow CAGR of 44.0%
TRONS 'R' US - Akwasi Bediako Afrane - Driving the Human - Silent Green Betonhalle - 25 - 27 November 2022 © Camille Blake-3
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

TRONS ‘R’ US, present these TRONS as a white box that sparks conversations about our consumer nature and how humanity’s constant pursuit of life through technology creates an interesting chain reaction that affects us and our environment.

For me, engaging the audience in these conversations is essential because we need to understand how deeply our lives are intertwined with these technological devices. Knowing the impact of the presence of these devices on the environment: Are there alternatives to these devices? Can we remove these devices? Is there a better way to manufacture and use these devices? What would the world be like without these technological devices? among other questions, etc. These are some of the discussions I intend to raise in practice.”

TRONS 'R' US by Akwasi Bediako Afrane - Driving the Human - Silent Green Betonhalle
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

Your work presents mechanical objects called TRONS. What are these TRONS and what is their purpose?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“TRON 101: What is TRON? To put it simply, TRON is a mechanical organism that emerged as a result of my participation as an artificial organ in the life of discarded electronic devices. TRONS are non-utilitarian anti-machines repurposed from discarded consumer electronic device(s) that contain the consciousness of previous owners and the artist (myself).

TRON reversely reinterprets the prosthetic relationship people form with these technological devices. Through the studio process, they refuse to become mechanical artificial apparatus.

At this point, I become their functional prosthesis, so they trade places with their new owner (themselves). In this state, these gizmos can no longer be processed in the traditional sense and can become para machines, meta machines, or trans machines.

These TRONS (mechanical objects) present us as a lens to question and critique our consumer nature.”

TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

The Trons’R’Us project presents a TRONS installation along with a short documentary. In what ways does the documentary complement and inform what is seen in the installation?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“In order to better understand the role of the documentary short, we must first understand its complementary installation; TRON installation. The installation presents the audience with a stunning TRON created using discarded electronics with eight equally spaced car seats around TRON.

Also Read :  It’s ‘social’ studies when history lives on Internet media platforms – New York Daily News

The installation invites viewers to become a part of it by enhancing themselves with an Oculus Go headset while resting in any seat of the car, activating a part of the installation in the process. Each seat activates a part of TRON and activates a screen that displays a green rain code.

The eight car seats are representative of the eight agents (agents) involved in the life cycle of these tools; Miners, manufacturers, distributors, consumers, repairers, second-hand dealers, scrap dealers and recyclers.

The short documentary film FRAGMENTS covers parts of the TRONSFORMATION workshop in Accra, Ghana, as well as some of the activities of representatives and communities in Ghana whose daily activities are related to the life cycle of these consumer electronic devices.

The documentary aimed to show some of the unseen processes involved in the life cycle of these devices. It is paramount that viewers experience the journey and process that inspired, informed and contributed to the creation of the massive TRON installation.”

TRONS 'R' US by Akwasi Bediako Afrane - Driving the Human - Silent Green Betonhalle
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

Your project also aims to explore the “problem of invisible prostheses”. Can you explain to us what this problem means?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“The proliferation of these electronic devices has undoubtedly become a ‘must-have’ prosthesis. We are very attached to our gadgets and have clear expectations of each other. We don’t have to struggle to memorize the phone numbers of our loved ones and acquaintances, because mobile phones are ours. We rely on television, radio and the likes to feed us the information we need about world events.

Similarly, storing and memorizing things like videos, images, text, etc. is entrusted to our personal computers. Just as prosthetic arms and legs serve the needs of amputees in the medical field, these devices serve our need to stay connected and updated in our technological sphere.

The “invisible prosthesis problem” describes the condition in which prosthetic devices cannot be experienced and placed, but are treated as unfixed appliances that must be cut and renewed every year or less to keep pace with rapidly evolving technology. sphere. This allows those who control these prosthetic extensions, such as manufacturers, to effectively control us and society.”

Also Read :  How Does Mobile Legends Ranking System Work? (ON)
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

With so much knowledge gained from studying the idea of ​​extension and extension between technology tools and humans, what are the trends in the human-gadget relationship and what do you think about them?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“For someone who believes that our reality is made up of material and immaterial things, the enormous contribution of these technological products cannot be denied. With the help of some of these devices, we can effectively experience reality in both real and virtual, communication and interactive boundaries.

Sigmund Freud wrote in his book Civilization and its Dissatisfactories: “We can attain a kind of divinity.” When we put on all our auxiliary organs (technological instruments) we become truly wonderful’ (Freud, 1930, p. 44). What I really believe needs attention is how we interact with these devices and understand how we interact with them.

With the TRONS ‘R’ project in the US, I put forward the idea of ​​hacking as a means (not a solution) to a sustainable future, because I believe that through resistance we can better connect with these artificial fragments of ourselves. The word “hacking” is used here to describe the complex noise that would be nice to have a good understanding of the internal workings (white box processes) of these technological units.”

TRONS 'R' US by Akwasi Bediako Afrane - Driving the Human - Silent Green Betonhalle
TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

This year you led the workshop “Change – Sustainability through Hacking” at the Foundation for Contemporary Art in Accra, Ghana. What’s the next step in your investigation, Trons’R’Us?

Akwasi Bediako Afrane:

“In my next steps, I will focus on strengthening my relationships with the communities that have contributed so much to the US TRONS ‘R’ project (scrap dealers, repairers, local recyclers) and try to build networks with other agents and communities, such as miners. , manufacturing companies, recycling plants and distributors of these electronic devices.The ultimate goal is to connect with all eight (8) representatives to have a really interesting discussion about the life cycle of these technology products.

Note: TRANSFORMATION courses are ongoing!”

TRONS ‘R’ US – Akwasi Bediako Afrane – Driving the Human – Silent Green Betonhalle – November 25 – 27, 2022 © Camille Blake-3

Source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button