medialounge at six
Masked and disguised man
“Thrown away but recovering life“: The Life Cycles of Materials in Our Consumer Culture as Reflected on by the South African Artist Francois Knoetze.
Thu, February 07, 2019 6 pm CET, Lecture

The South African performance artist and filmmaker Francois Knoetze (*1989) deals in his artistic works with the connections between social history and material culture. He examines the material cycles of our consumer goods, their origin and death of which most consumers know nothing about: as soon as the objects have lost their primary function or fallen out of the current trend, they are thrown away and forgotten. Knoetze works against this all too careless forgetting - what has been thrown away returns to us as uncanny, fantastic-looking figures. The focus here is on the devastating implications for people who are part of a cycle determined by the economy, in which consumption and waste, privilege and poverty, human and inhuman, belong inextricably together. In his installation »Core Dump« (2018), which is part of the exhibition »Digital Imaginaries - Africas in Production«, the artist explores the complex global connections that weave around our communication technologies such as smartphones. In particular, the contradiction between the technological utopianism of Silicon Valley and its exploitative relationship to Africa in the extraction of raw materials and the disposal of electrical waste is addressed. The lecture introduces the artistic work of Francois Knoetzes and places a special focus on the work »Core Dump« to be seen at ZKM | Karlsruhe.

Organization / Institution
ZKM | Center for Art and Media