'White Trash'

by Marcos on 週二, 01 九月 2009 評論
You have to understand the title literally: I am talking about trash of a white colour. As I was leaving my castle the other day, I just found myself in front of a very strange postcard: two mounds of printers and computer screens. White trash, digital trash, but certainly not virtual trash. This was real, tangible trash and although it wasn’t smelly, it was contamination.

They say that, just like the shallow man who entirely changes his wardrobe because it’s gone out of fashion, Asian people throw away their computer every six months as if it is a obsolete gadget, smoky and noisy junk. But if this was so, with all the thousands of millions of people in the region, the quantity of abandoned computers in the street would already be unbearable, they would be just like stray dogs leaving us no place to buy a box of cookies or arrange a secret meeting with a mysterious woman. It would pollute everyone’s sight, scattered all over the space now so scarce. It would be a white world of pale shadows.

But creativity is the clean combustible which emits flames of recycling. So, who knows? A lady might decide to use the old printer machine as a flower pot, filled with soil and with geranium flowers sprouting from the slit of the paper. The dead, black screens could be used as small kitchen boards to cut red meat or vegetables; or as mirrors for those with low self-esteem. If piled up and well cemented, all this abandoned hardware could even be used for building walls and erecting columns; for making roads, cities and empires of white bricks.

Lifeless as they are, the cold, silent, resting machines seem like pieces ripped off a robotic body. Like Frankenstein, they would only need a spark of electricity to turn their lights on again and to start their racket anew. Yet there are others which cannot be resurrected as they are dead and condemned to oblivion which is maybe worse than death itself. Anyway, it would be terrific if the new technology could be based on the old one, that the obsolete could recover its utility by converting itself into something new; this could be a new kind of donation: a donation of technological organs and a commitment towards what is simply thrown away.

Producers, distributors and users must be responsible for the life and death of their possessions. To throw something away does not make it disappear. On the contrary, it is an action which provokes a reaction, a consequence… Trash, whether white or black, is a living entity even if it is abiotic. Thus, the scrap could transcend its condition as trash and reincarnate itself into new machines, with the possibility to live the Buddhist reality of a circular time. Is recycling a Buddhist concept then? Is the human body a form of recycling souls? Or are we only printers, keyboards, screens, hardware of the spirit? And now...I return to my castle.

(Photos by Marcos G. Gava)

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