Hypertrash is a speculation about how browsing the web could be like when industrially manufactured devices are out of reach. It consists of a low-level, physically powered Internet device that has been largely constructed from waste materials found in the garbage or on scrapheaps and allows to browse the English wikipedia.
The exploitative, industrialized transformation of natural resources into consumer goods has become a major principle of the present global society and a highly remarkable characteristic of our era. One of the most prestigious, yet controversial type of industrial output are digital devices. They allow to increase human productivity significantly – alone or connected in the world-wide web. However, they are extremely energy- and resource-intensive in production. Becoming consumed and outdated within ever shorter lifecycles, they cause increasing environmental problems and growing piles of electronic waste.
Hypertrash explores experimentally how our digital life would look like if new resources or industrial manufacturing of new devices were unavailable and people instead had to make use of materials they find in landfills and in the garbage.
In contrast to current digital devices, which usually aim to dissolve technical boundaries, Hypertrash heavily re-introduces these boundaries on purpose. While the device is powered by an old sewing machine treadle, a keyword can be entered via a 9-button keyboard. The resulting Wikipedia article is then spelled letter-by-letter over the display consisting of 9 LEDs. An additional LED indicates when a word is part of a hyperlink. When the link button is pressed, this link is followed and the corresponding article gets displayed.
The materials for Hypertrash were collected in the electronic waste, in an abandoned house and from garbage left lying about.
The work was exhibited at Immigration Office.