Tantalum Memorial / Pandoras Index

For some reason i never managed to write about manifesta7 after having visited 3 of the 4 locations on the opening weekend back in mid july. not sure what to say of the overall exhibition but it included a number of really interesting and beautiful artworks. my favorite among them was Tantalum Memorial – Residue, by Graham Harwood together with Richard Wright and Matsuko Yokokoji. Is a memorial/intstallation to the Congolese people who have died as a result of the coltan wars. Regine over at we make money not art has posted a short description of the installation:

This installation is constructed out of an old electro-mechanical 1938 Strowger telephone exchange, discovered amongst the remains of the Alumix factory. Seen from afar it looked like it does belong to the ex-factory. An old telephone switch forgotten for decades. The switches are reanimated by tracking the phone calls from Telephone Trottoire – a social telephony network designed by the artists in collaboration with the Congolese radio program Nostalgie Ya Mboka in London. The TT network calls Congolese listeners, plays them a phone message and invites them to record a comment and pass it on to a friend by entering their phone number. This builds on the traditional Congolese practice of “radio trottoire” or “pavement radio”, the passing around of news and gossip on street corners in order to avoid state censorship.

More pictures on my flickr page. The same location (the ex-Alumix factory in Bolzano) also hosted the first ever installation by my good friend Lawrence Liang: Pandoras Index consists of a filing cabinet filled with index cards referring to various aspects of the debates around, cultural production, intellectual property and piracy. Having known Lawrence for years some of the drawers appeared to me as elaborate attempts to replicate parts of reasoning (or parts of his brain) in a series of index cards. probably only makes sense if you know Lawrence or if you are really familiar with the topics he addresses, but i liked it quite a lot (again, more pictures are available on my flickr page):

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