TRONS ‘R’ US
Akwasi Bediako Afrane
A project that seeks to investigate and explore the relationship between humans, technology and our environment.
Technology is the process of unearthing our reality to understand and simplify our existential lives. The quest for more technological advancement has substituted the love for veins, blood, skin, bones, and organs with that of oil, electric cables, dry cells, and the internet. The spread of the viral prosthetic “must-have” syndrome in relation to electronic gadgets has become indispensable for most humans. As patrons, we amass and abandon more of these gizmos in our quest to supplement our deficiencies. In the process, a black-box process is triggered, as unbeknownst to us we are constantly discarding gizmos that are infused with our genes and consciousness. TRONS ‘R’ US presents TRONS instead of people as a blank slate to provoke conversations about the nature of the “human” and how the human quest for sustenance burdens the environment. By altering rejected gizmos into TRONS and presenting them as anti-machines, they are offered as a prism through which to critique our state of being. The visceral traits of these TRONS form a narrative that will provoke questioning and discussions about our being. The project seeks to present audiences with a paradoxical scene of the world we are leaving behind as the one we aim to or look forward to. This research project also seeks to delve deeper to try to understand and query what propels the human to these technological gadgets, and why.
Akwasi Bediako Afrane (b. 1990) is a Ghanaian artist living and working in Kumasi, Ghana. His works explore the idea of augmentation and extensions between technological gadgets and humans. He works with discarded electronic gadgets which he refers to as “amputees”, refashioning and repurposing them into machines and micro-organisms he describes as “TRONS”. These TRONS become potential platforms and media for reflection, engagement and interactions. Stripped bare of their familiar housing, the TRONS become mechanical gizmos subsumed with the consciousness of previous owners of these gadgets and himself.
(photo: Afia Asare)
Kankam Cedi, Jacob Danquah, Afia Asare and Obeng-Fosu
Frederick Okai, Va-Bene Elikem Fiatsi and the whole Driving the Human Team