Technology Doomed for Obsolescence: Mark Cooney

“Kids in Congo were being sent down mines to die so that kids in Europe and America could kill imaginary aliens in their living rooms.” – Oona King, former member of the British Parliament.

For over a decade, war has ravaged the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Fueled, in part, by an intense demand for natural resources, the war has claimed over 5 million lives. Coltan (Columbite-tantalite), a metallic ore from which the element tantalum is extracted, is one of the DRC’s most sought after resources. Tantalum is widely used in common electronic devices such as cell phones, computers and video game consoles.

Mark Cooney’s piece, “Ps4” is an interactive video mash-up that juxtaposes documentary video footage with live video gameplay. Though initially conceptualized in response to reports of Sony’s large stake in the DRC’s bloody coltan trade during the production of its Playstation 2, Ps4’s playlist has since expanded to look at a variety of issues. On a general level, Ps4 explores the potentially alienating effects of gaming by derailing the seamless gameplay experience and offering a problematic and politicized view of so-called “immersive” leisure activities.

 

Media Fields Cooley 1 Clip from Media Fields on Vimeo.

 

Untitled from Media Fields on Vimeo.

 

 

 

 

Mark Cooley’s (www.flawedart.net) work explores the intersections of art, activism and everyday life. Particular interests include: U.S. foreign policy, the fine art and popular culture industries, political economy of new technologies, art/ecology, and sustainable systems. Cooley’s work has appeared internationally, in venues such as, Exit Art and AC Institute – NYC, The Art Institute of Chicago, The World Social Forum – India, MediaLabMadrid – Spain, and online at Rhizome.org, and Furtherield.org and many other sites.  Cooley is currently a professor in the School of Art at George Mason University.

Technology Doomed for Obsolescence- Ian Colon @ The Contaminate 2 Festival

We live in a society where technology is evolving to have fewer and fewer wires.  As our technologies become more mobile, they become more integrated into the rhythms of our daily lives.  Deep in The Present Tense Archives, we found a piece that used cords from an obsolete and nostalgic technology  to confront issues around voyeurism, surveillance, and ideas around the post human body.

 

 

Ian Colon “CHASING THE DRAGON”

2007

 

Ian Colon "Chasing the Dragon" 2007

 

For The Present Tense and TEST’s Contaminate 2 Festival, Ian Colon tied a video camera that faced behind him into his hair.  The camera fed into a television that he held inches away from his face.  He began to sprint around the space, navigating the environment only through the lens of the immediate past.  As the piece evolved, Colon increasingly grew disoriented.  His body reached physical fatigue as it tangled in the cords that hung from the television and camera.  This revealed the impossibility of sustaining the action, questioning the complicated relationships that humans of the 21st century have built and continue to build with technology.

 

Ian Colon "Chasing the Dragon" 2007