How do our everyday interactions with our smart phones connect to bigger social, economic, and environmental issues? What are the relationships between our mobile devices and transportation infrastructures, for example? Between our smart phone packages and cultural attitudes towards dirt or disease? Between our personal data streams and rapid urbanization in India and China? Or between our information consumption patterns and global supply and removal chains?

TECHTRASH looks at the bigger pictures of e-waste. Through the lens of that single ubiquitous device, the smart phone, TECHTRASH investigates hi-tech waste as a complex form of trash and a fundamental component of broader cycles of information production, distribution, and consumption in the global cultural economy. Like the smart phone it follows, TECHTRASH has many parts. Some parts are tactile and can only be experienced off-line. Other parts are web-based, for digital display and circulation.

As tactile toolkit, TECHTRASH offers an object lesson that unpacks and recreates the iPhone box as a critical media object. Hand-crafted and comprising several interactive components, it is built to last and designed to circulate as both companion and counterpoint to our mobile phone consumption.

TECHTRASH was conceived and developed through Urban Media Lab: Waste, a graduate level seminar taught by Jessica Blaustein in the School of Media Studies at The New School in Spring 2014.

Jessica Blaustein, Director, B-PLOT, and Adjunct Professor, The New School

Colleen Doyle
Thea Chaloner
Daniel Creahan

Bria Cole
Ekaterina Emova
Nekoro Gomes
Carmel Pryor
Michael Reiss

TECHTRASH is funded by a research seed grant from The New School Green Fund.

Andrew Blum
Ariel Krasnow
Jay Shapiro