Akwasi Bediako Afran returns to ‘Driving the Human’ festival
Berlin-based festival ‘Driving the Human’ returns this year to tackle new eco-social concepts rooted in the desire to secure a healthy future for the planet. Held at Berlin’s cultural center Silent Green from November 25th to 27th, his three-day event will center around seven of his prototypes investigating new ways to live on Earth and form communities. increase. Festival visitors are invited to interact with these prototypes and their makers through a series of activities including workshops, installations, conversations and performances.
Specifically, seven modelsExplore ways AI can mitigate rather than accelerate climate change. Immerse us in a new form of community building through ancestral farming knowledge. Using fiction as an imaginative tool for new forms of multi-modal symbiosis.Or create embodied connections as tools for understanding and changing human impacts in endangered regions.,’ Host of the Year, Forecast Share.
Rejoin The 2022 edition features Ghanaian artist Akwasi Bediako Afrane with a stunning TRONS ‘R’ US prototype. A commentary on our delusional quest to sustain meaning and life through technology, his Afrane work repurposes disused electronics into “living” beings called his TRONS. and each infused with the consciousness of the gadget’s previous owner. In line with his prototype, the artist recently held his 6-day workshop in Ghana entitled TRONSFORMATION. Continuing his journey, designboom asked Afrane about his latest workshop and his evolving take on the relationship we have with our everyday gadgets.
TRONS ‘R’ US by Akwasi Bediako Afrane | | WahooArt.com All images courtesy of the artist (unless otherwise stated)
First image © Anwar Sadat Mohammed
Exploring the Gadget Lifecycle
When asked how it evolved from last year’s TRONS ‘R’ US, festival, Akwasi Bediako Afrane explained that they have been actively giving new meaning to the act of hacking. In this context the word is used ‘A deep understanding of the inner workings of a system and an explanation of the consumer’s delight in having full access to it.,’ he told designboom. The artist developed this concept after researching and tracing the entire lifecycle of an electronic device, from production to consumption and finally disposal.
According to Afrane, each gadget is ‘Eight major players in the consumer electronics sector. This analysis is based on my research, inquiries and interactions.And each player controls gadgets at specific stages‘ To illustrate his point, the artist divides the gadget’s lifespan into two parts and lists the players or agents involved in each in numerical order. ) Consumers; while the second half includes (5) second-hand dealers, (6) repairers, (7) scrappers, and (8) recyclers. He continues to compare his three of these players on each side. Producers equate to recyclers, scrap he dealers minors, and used dealer distributors.
However, Afran pointed out that his interpretation did not reflect the actual situation.: ‘Consumer electronics and most technological products for it begin their lives in mines, but their conception is credited to the manufacturing companies. Relating this to the first half of a gadget’s life, the manufacturing company acts as the core and the miners act as the raw material source.Distributors become dispensing nodes and consumers act as verification and revenue streams.
In the second half, as in the first half, we reordered mainly from recycling companies. Recyclers treasure what would otherwise be perceived as just trash. But the linear connection we experience during the first half of the device’s life, where manufacturers use raw materials from miners to make these devices, which are passed on to distributors, and ultimately consumers. Unlike morphology, the latter is any form of connection between these agents. There is no clear starting point, as the second half of the life of these devices may begin with the repairer, second hand, or scraper itself. However, after dismantling these devices and grouping them into different materials, it is always the scrap dealer’s responsibility to move these devices to recycling companies..’
Workshop Day 3: Hacking/Finding Used Gadgets
“TRONSFORMATION – Sustainability through hacking”
Afrane’s insightful research into the gadget lifecycle Accra Contemporary Art Foundation, Ghana. Over his six days, the program “hacked” the system of each unused device and challenged participants to build their own gizmos. This workshop was originally intendedInclude 8 main agents […] Their lives are overwhelmed with electronic devices and they don’t have the opportunity to discuss the life cycle, environmental impact, sustainability, etc. of these devices.,’ explained the artist.
‘The number of agents was then narrowed down to consumers, second-hand dealers, repairers, and scrappers on the premise that the activities of these groups could in fact be perceived as a form of hacking. Unfortunately, only three of her four categories of agents listed could be involved.Repairers, Junkers, Consumers.’
Day 3: Hacking/Finding Used Gadgets
Participants in the workshop were an electronic repairman, a materials engineer, a junkyard, a college student, a high school senior, an Uber driver, three street artists, an art assistant, and a foundation staff member. After separating them into his two groups on the second day, Afrane asked them to work together on two of his TRON projects using available materials. As for resources, the artist provided some Siemens devices and collected a lot of used gadgets from dealers in Accra. Some participants brought their own obsolete electronic devices.
On days 3-5, both groups started “hacking” their gadgets, dismantling them and repurposing them into interesting models. They also assembled a Bluetooth stereo speaker into the sculptural body. All his TRONS was finally opened to the public on his 6th day, followed by a roundtable discussion to collectively consider the workshop and its results.
Day 4: Building Tron
By directly participating in the disassembly/reconstruction of gadgets, participants gained a new awareness and understanding of this technology area. In Afrane’s words, the “black box” has been torn apart, revealing all aspects of the device that humans rely on. Last but not least, the workshop taught both groups how to create value from waste while building social relationships and a spirit of cooperation. Her second workshop was held in Ghana, this time with her 17 children from foster families. Afran taught them how to make it.”Aircraft Tron like car‘ Using audio cassette player parts, old fluorescent tubes in rechargeable lamps, and compact discs (CDs).’
Day 5: Building Tron
As the conversation drew to a close, designboom asked the artist to share any new thoughts he might have about the overproduction of smart devices and the obsessive need of people. Akwasi Bediaco Afran concluded:
‘The whisper of human obsolescence in its own environment is one of the interesting factors contributing to this overproduction. The body must be augmented by technological gadgets to adapt to a rapidly growing and technologically advanced environment. Echoes throughout history include Ernst Kopp, Marshall McLuhan and David Rosenberg. Sigmund, reimagined by Freud, describes a condition I call viral prostheses. A never-ending quest to become the ‘perfect being’ through augmentation with technological gadgets. This desire is preyed upon by the corporate world, with the promise of new advanced and smart devices every year, ultimately leading to an overproduction of these gizmos.‘
Check out the full festival program from November 25-27, 2022 to learn more about this year’s Driving the Human hosted by mentoring program Forecast.