Harvesting the Rare Earth
At the end of January Anaïs & I spent a weekend in Copenhagen, and we were lucky enough to visit Jacob Remin first major solo exhibition: “Harvesting the Rare Earth”.
We love it and spent ages looking at the installation and taking in the atmosphere.
Quote Overgarden Blog Post:
In his first major solo exhibition, Jacob Remin presents a hypothetical scenario of the near future consisting of hybrid landscapes ranging from the conference rooms of a futuristic mining company and 1:1 accumulations of electronic waste, to highly detailed drone recordings of Agbogbloshie in Ghana, one of the largest electronic refuse sites in the world.
By relocating or modifying appliances and objects, Jacob Remin’s works emerge as non-hierarchical permutations of technology high and low. Through the interplay of light, sound, space and video, he creates unexpected connections using a wide range of materials. The transition from one material to another often appears so effortless that the material differences serve to emphasise the ways technology today is interwoven with modern life to such an extent that we no longer notice it.
Remin takes technology as the norm. Recent technological developments like human-enhancement technology and biochips incorporated in our bodies make the boundaries between the human and the non-human permeable. Remin’s complex works turn the materiality of both nature and technology inside out, questioning our categorisation and separation of the two. The installations become technological abstractions, providing space for reflection and reverie, as in Harvesting the Rare Earth: The exhibition stages a near future when the hunt for Rare Earth Elements is on. REEs are essential components of our electronic equipment and infrastructure, and we need increasing quantities of them to produce the technology that can meet our resource-intensive consumer demands. These increasing demands, together with the environmental costs of their extraction, generate anxiety and speculation in the re-extraction of electronic waste – a far from scarce resource.
In Harvesting the Rare Earth the fictive biotech company Hybrid Ventures has developed a method enabling genetically modified caterpillars to harvest these sought after metals in quantities capable of meeting demand, a dream scenario that reassuringly satisfies our needs but also cynically exposes our increasing addiction to technology. Jacob Remin uses this exchange between actual and hypothetical issues to investigate the power structures of the world in an exhibition that focuses on the environmental and human consequences of our consumption and addiction to technology.
Jacob Remin (b. 1977) is an artist, engineering graduate from the Technical University of Denmark, and interaction designer from the Copenhagen Institute of Interaction Design. His recent exhibitions include the show Cloud Computing at DIAS (Digital Interactive Art Space, 2016), LCD glitch modules, part of the Fokus 2015 Art Festival at Nikolaj Kunsthal, as well as the browser performance Copy this idea at SMK (National Gallery of Denmark, 2015).