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What A Time To Be Alive
A re-mining renaissance out of human and mineral extraction

The Global Souvenir Shop

3D viewing room
Photo by Almicheal Fraay
Smartphone Destructor by Noud Sleumer
This project is part of What A Time To Be Alive

The Global Souvenir Shop approaches the re-mining of minerals not just as a method of reusing raw materials for economic or ecological gain, but as a tool to extract the social, geographic and cultural inscriptions that are alive in the production and processing of smartphones.

With the dominance of global brands and increasingly inaccessible technological components our experience of technology tends to be uniform: we buy a device that is identical to millions of others and then throw it away. Such an experience simplifies and neglects taking into account the rich combination of factors that are at play in the creation and processing of these devices. A smartphone involves mining minerals as much as it does mining labour. In
other words, it involves extracting resources as much as extracting human energy. Yet our lack of skills, agency and creativity in relation to our electronic devices lies in stark contrast to those found in the parallel worlds they are mined, produced and discarded in.

The Global Souvenir Shop approaches the re-mining of minerals not just as a method of reusing raw materials for economic or ecological gain, but as a tool to extract the social, geographic and cultural inscriptions that are alive in the production and processing of smartphones. These ‘local memories’ of the global system of production are displayed in a triptych. The three panels together illustrate a narrative of local consumption intertwined with a global market.