Exhibition: Planet Digital

February 11th – June 6th  2022| Museum für Gestaltung, Zürich

 Overview of a complete 3D model of an artisanal gold mine in Kamituga based on a 3D scan with a smartphone. 3D scan: Gabriel Kamundala, 3D model: Chris Elivis Leisi, ZHdK ©2022

The exhibition Planet Digital featured a joint production of the Immersive Arts Space and the Department of Geography of the University of Zurich. The exhibition segment KAMITUGA | DIGITAL GOLD allowed insights behind the shiny surface of the mobile tech industry and invited the visitors to engage with the concrete challenges and living conditions of artisanal gold miners in the region of Kamituga (Democratic Republic of Congo). About seven percent of global gold is used for technological purposes, as a chemically stable and exceptional conductor. It is found in all our smartphones, tablets and computers.

The starting point for all digitally-based experiences were the photographs, videos and 3D scans that PhD candidate Gabriel Kamundala recorded in Kamituga in the summer of 2021 using a latest-generation smartphone. In this way, a ubiquitous device, itself containing gold and rare minerals, provided insights into the living conditions of artisanal mine workers and, at the same time, drew attention to the many challenges of the mobile tech industry.

Teaser video: Kamituga Dgital Gold (Alan Sahin / Christian Iseli © ZHdK 2022)

Visitors also encountered texts about the global context. With the help of QR codes, they could view supplementary information on their smartphones. Thus, awareness of both how our digitalized lives are dependent on rare minerals and of the problematic interrelation of supply chains in the mobile tech industry was promoted.

[ Planet Digital website ] [Arte report about the exhibition]