as shown in GEN-TRS at The Royal Standard, Liverpool, March 2020
aluminium foil, aluminium tape, aluminium toblerones, aluminium dust, OSB, sawdustnotes on this work:
in order that we may even remotely consider the monstrousness that reigns here...
the toblerone was the first chocolate bar to be wrapped in aluminium foil. the processing plant that produced this new type of foil lay on the rhine, and was powered by the river's falls. martin heidegger, in the essay 'the question concerning technology', cites hydroelectric power stations on the rhine as an example of our changed perception of 'nature', whereby it ceased to be a thing of poetry and became a resource for extraction - the landscape waiting in standing reserve to meet our desires and commodified ends.
a smooth aluminium surface is now expected by the consumer of many contemporary objects - tablets, phones, laptops. in their polishing, particles of this material come away en mass - they enter the world, enter the air and, with toxicity, enter the bodies of the labourers who produce them.
this work uses aluminiums (bar, foil, dust) and toblerones (product, gift, gorge) as objects in which to concentrate the messy entanglements of extractivist practices in ecology and economies. it follows a wandering thought on value + scale, desire + guilt, surface + residue, the smoothness or resistance of language + landscape, + the miraculous aesthetics of industrial production.
what falls off the sides of our making practices? + to whom have we given the rest of our objects?
"with respect to residue: it may be said it is that which never finds its way into the manifest narrative of how something (a person, an object, a state, or a state of being) is produced, or comes into existence. it is the accumulation of all that is left behind, when value is extracted." - raqs media collective
see also: jussi parikka, geology of media, chapter 4 - 'dust and the exhausted life'
reviews of this work:
"that's amazing!" - tobleroneglobal, may 2020
all photo credits to Benjamin Nuttall @ the royal standard