iPhones from Burnouts displaying animations of retired constellations that are projected on to gallery ceiling.
What Remains (Estate Sale 1), from Hard Copy
Discarded Thumbdrives, 10 Rupees Each, Gaffar Market, Delhi, India (Digital photograph, 2015)
Extracting the Precious Metals, Mustafabad Market, Delhi, India (Digital photograph, 2015)
Dismantled Keyboards, Mustafabad Market, Delhi, India (Digital photograph, 2015)
The Chuck Close Tapes, installation view from Ronald Feldman Gallery, New York, NY (2014)
What Remains (Estate Sale 2), from Hard Copy
Upgrade Available is about how memory is changing as we become increasingly reliant upon our personal electronics. Christensen is currently working on a large-scale installation at the LACMA Art + Tech Lab that examines the pitfalls of documenting the lived experience with electronic media. Our fluid relationships with smartphones, laptops, hard drives, and tablets allow us to offload more memory (and memories) to our electronics than ever before; ultimately our web of personal devices becomes an electronic system encoded with our identity and legacy. What happens to this electronic memory when our devices become obsolete, when we are finished using them, or when we die?
This installation is an outgrowth of an ongoing body of work about these issues (supported by Creative Capital). The previous pieces––Burnouts, We Share Our Pictures, Hard Copy, The Chuck Close Tapes––each explore our relationships with obsolete electronic devices and recordings; what we do with our slide collections, VHS tapes, computers, digital image files, laptops, tablets, and iPhones when we are finished using them, and/or when they become obsolete? A lot of this stuff sits in storage waiting for upgrades that rarely come to pass, while even more of it winds up in dumps around the world. Christensen has been to India three times in the context of this project, to document the global aggregate of our electronics in the form of e-waste. The body of work includes photography, video, drawings, sculpture, and installation.
>>2017 LACMA Art + Technology Lab Awards
>>Julia Christensen presents “Upgrade Available” at the 2015 Creative Capital retreat
>>Profile on Creative Capital website
>>“Julia Christensen,” by Kris Paulsen, BOMB, March 27, 2014
>>Artist to Artist: Cory Arcangel and Julia Christensen on Media Fluidity and Obsolescence
Upgrade Available has been supported by the MacDowell Fellowship (2015), The Wexner Film/Video Studio Residency (2014), The Ohio Arts Council Individual Excellence Award (2015), and the Creative Capital grant (Emerging Fields, 2013)