Hsiang-Lin Kuo

Electronic Memoirs ii.


— From Excavating Electronic Memoirs From Erren River(2021-)

“Excavating Electronic Memoirs From Erren River” is an artistic research inspired by a public archeologic excavation in 2021, which was an arena for story-telling, debate, healing, and embodying the local huignogim(e-waste recycling) history along Erren river. The series consists of tools (a video, an interface, and a knitting machine), three story quilts to communicate paradoxical narratives through memory, gestures, design, and archeology.

Since the 1950s, southern Taiwan had been importing waste electronics globally* to recycle and resell profitable metals like gold, copper, lead, iron, and lithium. The region was left heavily polluted due to the toxic recycling process, despite bringing great economical development. Discarding waste into the river was not recognized as problematic in the times when Taiwanese environmental laws were less strict, which points out how the dynamics of globalization and circular economy transfers externalities to developing countries.

The study underwent a year-long participation in local networks, and conducted many interviews. With the help of archeological tools, the organic, fragmented nature of decentralized history covers more perspectives in the paradox of the industry, which also deconstructed the hierarchy between the locals and the historians.

Sponsored by Institute of Archeology, National ChungKung University and Amsterdam Fashion Institute.

Exhibited in NEMO, part of Circolab festival, Amsterdam, 2023; Salone del Mobile, Milan, 2023.

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