HiFi Wasteland I: 100 Year Old Quicksilver Cloud
installation, 2019

1st work in HiFi Wasteland, a trilogy experimenting with material waste left over from generations of decomposing sound reproduction technology. Wading into the toxic haze of early transmission infrastructure, this installation sonifies the decaying atmosphere inside a thyratron – a 100 year old vacuum tube radiating a cloud of blue ionized mercury. Vacuum tubes generated, amplified and controlled some of the earliest flows of electrons signalling the start of widespread communication networks. Though produced prior to practices of planned obsolescence and outliving industrial lifecycles of technology today, the decommissioned liquified metals of the thyratron represent one of the multitude of ruinous substrates of postindustrial ecology.

Darsha Hewitt (CA)

Darsha Hewitt works across new media and sound studies. Her work largely grows out of empirical material based experimentation with obsolete technology. She make electro-mechanical sound installation, performances with hand-made electronics, video, drawing and photography. Her studio practice and teaching methods alike take an adventurous hands-on /media-archeological approach to art making, where hidden systems within technology are de/re-mystified as a means to trace out structures of economy, power and control embedded throughout western culture.

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