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WMMNA: French Artist Repurposes ‘Dead Technology’

In this exhibition, Paul Granjon turns obsolete gadgets into robots and other artefacts.

Regine Debatty
Regine Debatty on October 7, 2011.

Paul Granjon is a facetious French artist living in Wales. When he’s not performing wearing a flattering inflatable sumo suit, or organizing parades on Dutch market squares, Granjon builds robots using sausages, cadavers of parrot toys, heaps of fake fur and dolls. But behind the pop and quirkiness, the artist is investigating ‘the co-evolution of humans and machines’, inviting us to pause and reflect for a moment on our relationship with technology.

Right now, Granjon has a solo show at the Oriel Davies gallery, in Newtown, Wales, where he is presenting Oriel Factory, ‘a radical new take on production lines.’ He gathered old computers, CD / DVD players, printers, toys, radios and other discarded machines and gave them as raw material to volunteers – the ‘Oriel Factory workers’. Together, they broke apart the ‘dead tech’ and, with the help of advanced home-manufacturing technology, re-composed and re-purposed them as robots and other artefacts for the gallery.

Image courtesy of Paul Granjon

The exhibition forces awareness of the vast quantities of electronic waste produced by our early 21st century consumer society, and highlights the need for renewable energy. The exhibition also gently pokes fun at our fascination with, and endless appetite for new technology and the need to own the latest smart phone or the newest sat nav. 

Image credit: Diana Gonçalves

 
Originally published on We Make Money Not Art. Continue reading here
Régine Debatty is the creator of the ‘We Make Money Not Art’ blog and an art show curator. She has also spoken at several conferences and festivals about the way artists, hackers and interaction designers (mis)use technology. Learn more about Régine Debatty.

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