All That Is Solid
All That Is Solid
Produced for the 59th Salon de Montrouge - Paris - with support from Ekimetrics.
This is a film that takes place.
In between a hard place,
a hard drive,
a soft space – the cloud that holds my data.
And in the soft grey matter,
Contained within the head.
In 2013, Louis Henderson, a fanatic traveller, spent a month filming in Ghana, a former British colony in West Africa previously called the “Gold Coast”. He came back with videos of galamsey gold-mining and, near Accra, of Agbogbloshie – the world’s greatest waste site for illegally exported obsolete computers from the West. There, young men put their health at risk by burning the IT equipment to extract the precious metals contained in the processors. In other words “a strange system of recycling, a sort of reverse post-colonial mining whereby the African is searching for metals in the materials of Europe”, comments Louis Henderson who is intent on “demonstrating how important it is to do away with the capitalist myth claiming the immateriality of computer technology”.
All That Is Solid, specifically made for the Salon de Montrouge, draws its title from a passage of Marx and Engels’ Manifesto of the Communist Party (1884) thus underlining the “materialist conception of history” as a tool to understand social and historical reality. The dispositif of the video operates as a mise en abyme exposing the artist’s computer desktop-cum-editing-table where the film is being edited before us. Layer after layer of video clips, emails, notes, photographs - taken off Google Image and other Internet pages, are selected; the files and windows are assembled while a text narrates the progression guiding the spectator through the stratified data to finally produce a story. – ALEXANDRE QUOI