The space is empty, but the walls treasure the ghost's eyes who once lived here. Old walls are consistent with piles of forgotten plastic carrying corroded copper and our memories.
Blue and green fibreboards with miniature cities of information litter, the texture of the walls, the shell is formulating the empty space. Once rammed into life, the motherboards will pass on our dirty secrets.
We once cared so deeply, but now the former body of the newest old tech recommended by Linus tech tips lays abandoned.
It tries to rot in a landfill somewhere in the northeastward corner of Agbogbloshie Ghana but cannot quite manage it.
It sits next to a broken three-legged orange plastic footstool. Smushed into the dirt and crusted over with a giant African snail's shell by a purple sprayed dump truck two.
Can you believe people keep these things as pets?! Its so weird but, kinda cool. Not my tomato, but I like people who have interesting different kinds of pets then the norm. I used to know someone who had a pig as a pet. It was like the family dog. It was so strange, but it fit her personality so well, you just knew he was a pig person. You know? Like some are dog people and others are cat.. or yeah you get it. Kay side tangent over.
A man in his early twenties donning shoes made from former Michelin tires and blue plastic Walmart bags notices the betraying gleam of the devices broken screen underneath the snail shell. It is covered in the creatures dried up carcass juice that now has the hardness of half jerky-ed snot. The state of the device does not matter to Kwame Ahmed. He is a salvager, and he is looking for us because he believes it will make him rich.
He knows that we are attached to the unseen world. Using our digital umbilical cord as a fisherman's rope; If he can get into our trash, he can auction off our internet footprint to the highest bidder. Kwame wants Moby Dick sized paycheck. Forget the Antique Warirros Tv show. Our information is better than reality tv as far as he is concerned.
However, he is not the only one. Large companies like Facebook, Amazon, Linked In, Apple, and Microsoft are just like him.
They do it on a larger scale when they get caught; they say:
"Your information was lying around. It's not like you were using it. So we used it for you.
Besides, you can't live without us, so, there!" Then they stick out their proverbial tounges out like little snail booger snot-nosed chitlin. Meanwhile, they rake in the dosh our information gave them with their grubby booger crusted hands.
Drawing above was a failed and abandoned experiment from 2019.
The attitudes above hots my tomato to boil in a freezer burnt pot. It condenses my animosity and my general feelings towards high tech devices and companies. But what's a gal to do?
Below: Digital drawing experiment in the summer or fall of 2019. I feel like I did a rather well job for my first digital self portrait. One of my buddies is a sculpter. She makes these amazing baby dolls, and other cuddly toys from recycled materials. She took this picture and turned me into one of her creations. I felt so honored.
We are expected to be on the internet and the tech grid. When you go to a doctors office to get a prescription, they want your email address to let you know when it's filled.
Try to pay a bill or update your insurance plan? Or Want to book a flight? You have to use the internet. They tell you you must do it on their website. Want to stay in touch with young family members? You have to use their preferred social media platforms. Or you'll never hear from them.
The picture to the right was done as a quick gesture painting while I was staying in Marseilles, France. Back in late 2018. It was late summer and lovely: one problem, the late-night storms. Each time the storm raged, more plastics, litter and junk was washed up onto the shore. It was making going to the beach a less pleasant experience. I grew up next to small lakes that were constantly taken care of because that was how everyone got to enjoy the fishing. The sight of the beaches were shocking to me, and since then, I have made more efforts to become less plastic-dependent.
Do you like your groceries delivered to your door? Try Farm Drop instead of Morrisons, Sainsburys, Hyvee or Walmart. They send organic, local farmers fresh foods straight to your door, with less plastic.
Go ahead, tell someone you don't have an email address. Or that you don't know how to or don't use any social media. Their shock, condemning shame, and look of- "How can you be so deliberately inconsiderate and ignorant."-
Below is a drawing from the fall of 2018. " The Pricked Artist" I love this work and had it. It was my first time working with acrylic pens, and it shows. Yet, something about that showing feels slightly good. Once some of my haunting painted projects are finished, I would love to do this as a large painting. It, to me, says a lot about how much work an artist must put forth to make it and still talk about things that matter to them. Like me and my longish tech raid story here. :P
I'm in my thirties; past choices like these have brought me and others like me into the proper realms of true social distancing.
I like my privacy. I believe my calm atmosphere is due to my lack of engagement with tech devices. But it has consequences because I do not value devices the same way most of the world does. So when I have to chachacha to the tech world, I do it with a resigned, reluctant spirit.
Want to know what have been up to this week, case you would like to spy on me with my permission? Check out my instagram. I try to find, or at least write a litte bit of my day there for your happy enjoyment.
Try reading this book. I finished it over my holiday. Holy Hot Tomatos!
The New York Times article by Zeynep Tufekic is an excellent example of why I feel so disenchanted with the idea of being connected to the tech world. Tufekic hits the hammer on the head when she writes-
"The real problem is that billions of dollars are being made at the expense of the heath of our public sphere and our politics, and crucial decisions are being made unilaterally and without recourse or accountability."
I'm not too fond of websites force cookies onto devices. Or When they record what I am doing on the internet. I am not fond of facial recognition or fingerprint Id. Do I have to guard my face and fingerprint against the internet Kawmies now? I want information from all candidates and voting choices- Not just the ones advertisers choose for me. I also don't desire advertisers to recognise my general knowledge. I do not like them profiling me, then classifying me with only a specific type of people. When they do this, it is a variety of racism that can scar us and our future generations for life.
Places like Agbogbloshie, Ghana scare me on so many levels. It's not good for the environment; I mean that morally, mentally, electronically, or environmentally. I understand that there are always going to be green goober grabby people in the world. They have been forever trying to make a quick buck. It's been that way since greed came into the hearts of man. That's not changing. But my job as one grain of rice is to do what I can and start the grain avalanche that shomars against the Kwames of this world.
I feel that privacy and quiet time are the newest hot commodity on the market—the new gold rush.
----->Don't forget to click on the pictures. Most of them have links to cool articles and other neat information.
I wrote most of this above fake story based on real events of our time in the fall of 2020 as an assignment for my English writing class. But then, I reframed it for a different homework piece in 2021, this spring semester. (Why do more work unless you have to do it? Right?)
The real thing is, I don't ever believe that I will stop feeling this way, so much so, I decided to rework it again over my holidays and place it here. I mean with cyberattacks creating fule shortages and holding digital information hostage by hackers with weird agendas. Or a few words from some dude on Twitter or Facebook shake the world, countries and even cryptocurrency.
And that's just a small comment on the last three weeks!
What a bizarre world we live in, Right?
Keep well and enjoy the weekends lovely weather.
All the best,
JCML Fine Art.