Abject Digital Performance: Engaging the Politics of Electronic Waste
Abstract

Building on anthropologist Mary Douglas's writing on the ritual function of dirt, this article presents a strategy in digital performance art that engages with electronic waste (e-waste). It is suggested that planned obsolescence in electronics is of a particular nature that facilitates the representation of consumer technologies within the logic of a "symbolic order of technological progress," where digital devices act as mere signifiers for abstract notions of connectivity, well-being and innovation. Conceptualizing discarded electronic devices as abject technology that is positioned outside this symbolic structure, a performance practice is proposed where abject body parts and abject technologies are connected to challenge this techno-ideology.


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