Discarded: The Afterlife of Everyday Electronics

January 13 - March 7, 2014
Opening Reception and Performance by Kyle Evans and James Connolly: February 13, 5:30-8:30pm

Many people crave the best technology available, seeking out the newest game system, phone, computer, tablet, programs, and more. Manufacturers are well aware of this demand for technological advances and make the smallest changes to their items in order to sell the “new” model the very next year. Further, many electronics are intentionally built not to last; planned obsolescence in technology is nothing new, but seemingly increased over time. Between the shoddy quality of gadgets and new items coming out annually, people insist they need the next upgrade. There is no slowing down to this hyper consumerism of technology resulting in a surplus of “useless” electronics.

Discarded focuses on the abundance of everyday electronics and constant upgrades of technology, while examining what happens to the previous versions when deemed no longer useful. This multimedia exhibition uses performances, interactive arts, mixed media, time-based works, and installations to display the excess of outdated electronic devices. Artists examine issues ranging from planned obsolescence of technology, the proliferation of unwanted electronics being re-appropriated as art materials, and the feeling of nostalgia for the "rejected" vintage items. Through this work, the exhibition uncovers narratives for the discarded items that often find a new life after being left behind.

Curated by Kristen Kula, BFA in Photography ‘13

Featured Artists:

Kyle Evans and James Connolly 

Patrick Lichty 

Veronica Corzo-Duchardt 

Sarah Frost 

David Sieren (of The Post Family)

Eric Fleischauer 

Maria Tzeka

Crystal Hodges and Linsey Burritt of INDO 

Nate Crumpley

Academic Partners: Photography, AEMM, Sustainability Program, IAM, Center for Community Arts Partership, Art + Activism, Audio Arts + Acoustics

Exhibition Contact: Mark Porter/mporter@colum.edu/312-369-6643

Additional Programming:
E-waste Solutions: A Response to Discarded Electronics

February 5, 2014 6:00-7:00pm, Stage Two, 618 S. Michigan Ave, 2nd floor

Every year, electronics are mass-produced and consumed resulting in a great amount of discarded materials. For instance, in 2010, 2,440,000 tons of electronics were disposed of in the United States and only 27% of them were recycled. What happens to the rest of the electronics? How does electronic waste affect the environment? What are alternatives to disposing electronics? How can sustainability be practiced in art?

Panel Discussion. Panelists include: Sarah Commes of PCRR, Margaret Renas of the Delta Institute, and Crystal Hodges and Linsey Burritt of INDO. Moderator: John Wawrzaszek of Columbia College’s Sustainability Program

Electronic Recycling Drive

January 13-March 7, 2014 at the Arcade Gallery, 618 S Michigan Ave, 2nd Floor

Have any outdated, broken, unwanted electronics? Phones, computers, TVs, game systems, appliances, can be recycled. Throughout the duration of Discarded: the Afterlife of Everyday Electronics, come drop off your unwanted electronics to be Recycled by Vintage Tech Recyclers.

Press Contact:


Press and Reviews:

Columbia Chronicle interviews Kyle Evans and James Connolly

Chicago Magazine

Roger Brown Study Collection Blog

Resources and Media:

Exhibition Postcard

Exhibition Poster