“I wanted to use e-waste to raise the issue of ethics in tech,” says the New York-based artist, Jean Shin. “Engineers are always racing to innovate, to create new software without always thinking about how the hardware will be left behind.” Shin made calls requesting donations of discarded cell phones and computer cables, and then used the discards for sculptures that invite her audience to mentally press pause. In “Pause,” she’s crafted Ethernet wires and black glass fragments into glittering man-made scholar’s rocks (the naturally occurring formations studied by Chinese academics). The cables become a surrounding alien ecosystem. Shin’s hope is that viewers will take a moment to reflect on the virtual world’s relationship with nature. —E.C.
Asian Art Museum 200 Larkin St, San Francisco, CA 94102 Get Directions »