Golden Trash Future Past

Collaborator: Taipei Artist Village, Treasure Hill Artist Village, TCAC Taipei Contemporary Art Center, Taike Arts Promotion Centre Finland, Frame Contemporary Art Finland.

A project that delves into recycling gold from electronic waste to reflect on the concept of value, aging technology, and the human side of industrial recycling.

Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
Golden Trash-Future Past was developed in Taiwan, and consisted of in-situ research, collective participatory activities, technical process, and an exhibition with the final results.
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
Did you know that 20 tons of rock and soil are removed just to get enough gold to make a single ring?  Or that you need around 15 kilos of ore to collect the amount of gold used to produce your smartphone?
Taiwan’s government has put a lot of effort into recycling over the past few years, so electronic waste is not easy to come by. For that reason, we embarked on a series of adventures and scoured municipal dumpsters, second-hand stores, electronics markets, and recycling centers in and around Taipei, searching for old, discarded, and broken electronic devices. We also visited laboratories with electronics enthusiasts, like OpenLab Taipei, and invited people to donate their e-waste through open calls. In the end, we managed to collect over 10 kilos of circuit boards containing gold!
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
It is totally possible to recycle gold and other metals from old computers, laptops, mobile phones, printers, and other devices.
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
We worked with local residents at TCAC (Taipei Contemporary Art Center) to dismantle electronic devices and circuit boards to select the parts with the precious metal. This was an arduous and time-consuming process.
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
Collaborating with local participants was very meaningful to us, and extremely important to the successful outcome of the project.
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
In Super Eclectic’s studio at TAV (Taipei Artist Village), we deposited the electronic parts containing gold in a solution with oxygen peroxide, white vinegar, and salt. This was the most eco-friendly method we found to separate gold from electronic components.
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
At the end of this five-day long process, we strained the solution and rinsed the gold flakes thoroughly.
Together with a group of local residents at TAV, we organized a second workshop to build a large-scaled papercraft model inspired by Zhizha, a traditional Taoist paper art, and Mexican piñatas.
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
This peculiar, crossbreed object was based on the iconic and “unbreakable” Nokia 3310 mobile phone. It was later stuffed with Ghost money (imitation gold and bank notes offered to ancestors in Taiwan), and other goodies representing the idea of gold
To wrap up this edition of Golden Trash Future Past, the final results were shown in an exhibition at THAV (Treasure Hill Artist Village) in Taipei,  consisting of an iimmersive narrative that guided the spectators through different episodes of the entire process.
And yes, we did get to break the Nokia piñata!
Golden Trash Future Past — Super Eclectic
Super Eclectic – Contact

Super Eclectic Ay
Helsinki, FI
Get directions
+ 358 403752544

Agnieszka Pokrywka
Humberto Duque
Alexia Simon

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