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UAL Research Online

A global positioning system

Jackson, Melanie (2006) A global positioning system. [Art/Design Item]

Type of Research: Art/Design Item
Creators: Jackson, Melanie

This animation refers to the schemas of material flow analysis as used in the fields of design and technology to trace the intellectual development, mineral sources and working processes involved in the manufacture of a consumer product. The analysis is visual - unlike the textual investigations carried out in these other fields. It explores Marxist notions of alienation, while acknowledging the fascination, desire and phenomenal global industrial infrastructure implicated in an everyday piece of technology. Thousands of lives are implicated in a product designed to locate a single individual.

Jackson spent a week with the manager of an electronics factory exploring the industrial mechanism involved in creating a hand-held Global Positioning System that reveals the scale of of the infrastructure in place to create this device. The project explores this paradox: that so many subjectivities, manufacturing processes and working lives are implicated in a device designed to locate the position of an individual. The work rejects the use of the lens, using hand drawn imagery generated with a digital tablet and stylus and uses an implicitly mediated ‘individual’ register. Describing the act of ‘work’ through the laborious act of drawing, the spectre of ‘dirty’ and manual industry belying the seamless design of the technological interface is referenced.

Your affiliations with UAL: Colleges > Wimbledon College of Arts
Date: 9 December 2006
Funders: Arts and Humanities Research Council, Arts Council, British Council China Artists Links Awards
Related Websites: http://www.melaniejackson.net/projects/gps/index.php
Related Websites:
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2009 00:53
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2014 10:54
Item ID: 1833
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/1833

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