This is where the creative process foundational to science, fixing, and hacking come together. Rather than making more of the same, whether it’s in science or technology, the scientists, artists, and engineers at GOSH push boundaries, exceed norms, and open up possibilities. Trash is one avenue towards that goal.
There is little evidence that transnational shipments of “e-waste” derive from attempts by exporters to elude strict environmental regulations and indicate rather that global flows are mainly driven by the quest for working or repairable secondhand devices, spare parts and recyclable materials.
The focus of this collaborative workshop is the production of mending cultures by individual and collective human and non-human agencies; in other words, shared practices oriented around prolonging the usable lives of material things, recognising the durability of both the object and the value(s) and meaning(s) associated with it. In conjunction with practitioners, activists, and thinkers from diverse disciplinary background we seek to explore the practices and knowledges at the heart of mending culture(s); the meanings created and drawn upon; how such a culture is – or could be – produced; and the most significant barriers to its long-term sustainability.
Participatory design is a practice where ordinary users are part of the design process to help ensure the results meets their needs and values. Thus, both the process and the products tend to be different than a top-down approach to creating (and wasting) objects. Love in E-waste adds another twist, in that rather than designing something from scratch, it starts with a waste product.
How questioning maintenance and repair can help discussing such issues as humans and non-humans relationships, materiality and objects agency, matters of concern and matters of care, and more generally the ongoing production of social order?
The Fixer’s Collective is “group dedicated to working together to fix things – encouraging improvisational fixing and mending and fighting planned obsolescence.” They’ll be in Boston in two locations on Saturday, October 5th, 2013.
Before disposability, before planned obsolescence, and even before mass production really entered its modern phase, there reined a different kind of material relation with broken objects. Waste historian Susan Strasser calls this ethos “stewardship,” characterized by handwork, repair, and making do: “We are not likely to revive the stewardship of objects and materials, formed in […]
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This post originally appeared on Wired Opinion 06.18.13. Madison Sheffield cracks open a toaster oven, jams her hand inside, then turns on the power. It looks like she’s about to electrocute herself, but she seems unfazed. “Thermostat or heating element?” Sheffield mutters, yanking on wires and poking around with a multimeter. “Why isn’t this working?” […]
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Last Call for Contributions: Cultures of Repair (edited collection) Edited by Mark Rainey and Theo Reeves-Evison Centre for Cultural Studies, Goldsmiths, University of LondonSuggested themes: Aesthetics of Repair, Technologies of Repair, Post-Colonial Reparations, Reparative JusticeWhat does it mean to repair something? Is it to restore function, to compensate for a fault, deterioration, or deficiency, or […]
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By Max Liboiron A number of volunteer Fixit Groups have evolved in the past few years to bring people material know-how and empathy to their ill and ailing possessions. The volunteers are eloquent and articulate when it comes not only to instructing you on how to fix your broken object, but in terms of the […]
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