Stephen Cornford

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 Pixel Mining   
 

We mine and refine rocks to make pixels glow. Digital electronics now outnumber human beings, each individual unit uses the vast majority of terrestrial metals in its components. According to the US Geological Survey 22 billion handheld electronic devices were manufactured in 2014. The LED screens in these devices used 130kg of gallium, 170kg of cerium, 120kg of arsenic and 180kg of lanthanum. If we knew the average number of pixels in each device we could calculate the geological cost per pixel of our screen time. The earth observation satellite Sentinel II produces another image of every site from which its raw materials were extracted every five days. These images have a ground resolution of 10 square metres per pixel, but we can’t calculate how many square metres of terrestrial surface were turned over to produce each pixel in its camera. If we could we might be able to derive a planetary resolution: the total number of pixels the Earth can support.

Using hacked PC monitors, satellite time-lapse, and found footage of electronics manufacture and recycling, the video installation connects the flickering screen image with the cycles of extraction that make its appearance possible, asking how many pixels and how much screen time the planet can sustain.

Commissioned by and exhibited at D-Unit, Bristol.

 


 

 

 

 


 

 

 

  

 

 

--------------------------------------------------2024
Four Million Tonnes per Annum

--------------------------------------------------2023
Spectral Index

Petrified Media

--------------------------------------------------2022
Dark Current Collages
Horizon of Fulfillment

--------------------------------------------------2021
To Photograph A Rock
Pixel Mining

--------------------------------------------------2019
RGB [Retinally Governed Behaviours]

--------------------------------------------------2018
Saturation Trails - Acid
- Laser
- X-Ray
Destruction of an Image Sensor

-------------------------------------------------2016
Constant Linear Velocity
Augenmusik
Methodology for a Synaesthetic Screen

-------------------------------------------------2015
Migration
Digital Audio Film

-------------------------------------------------2013
Solipsism Cinema
Archipelago

-------------------------------------------------2012
Recorded (on) Delivery
Five Introverted Machines

-------------------------------------------------2011
Binatone Galaxy

-------------------------------------------------2010
In Search of a Concrete Music

-------------------------------------------------2009
Works for Turntable

-------------------------------------------------2008
Three Piece
Air Guitar
Extended Piano

------------------------------------------------2007
Trespassing The Olympic Site
For Violin, Viola & Tape