Artist Projects

Upgrade Available

Julia Christensen

Upgrade Available is a body of work that explores our cultural relationships with obsolete electronic material. The work began in 2012, when Julia Christensen visited an e-waste recycling center in the south of India, and was faced with a mountain of trashed electronics. In order to grasp the enormity of our e-waste stream, she began investigating narratives surrounding the electronics we consume, hoard, and discard at an unsustainable rate in the 21st century. The resulting pieces (Burnouts, The Big Feed, Hard Copy, The Chuck Close Tapes, and Infinite Loop) each explore our relationships with such objects as outdated smartphones, VHS tapes, and hard drives. Christensen repurposed discarded electronics to make self-designed sculptural video projectors for these pieces; the body of work additionally includes photography, video, sculpture, and installation. Christensen is also writing extensively about these stories and the related issues.