TRONS ‘R’ US
Akwasi Bediako Afrane
A project that seeks to investigate and explore the relationship between humans, technology, and our environment.
Technological products are undoubtedly prosthetic extensions of human faculties. The accelerated production of these devices can be attributed to the fact that these technological contraptions are an attempt to perfect the human, thus bringing the human to a “god-like” state. Yet there is a paradox with technology, as it also serves to constrict the human environment. Even with its greatest promise of “salvation”, technology possesses a diabolical enhancement, like a double-edged sword supplementing the human environment while at the same time subtracting from it.
TRONS ‘R’ US reflects on this idea of extensions while also exploring the many facets of the lifecycle of technological consumer gadgets from their inception to their “conclusion”. It elaborates on the need to usher society into a state of “openness” with regard to consumer electronic gadgets and their effect on the environment. TRONS ‘R’ US presents an installation of TRONS, along with a short documentary that briefly touches on the lifecycle of consumer electronics as a way of stimulating critical discussion about the holistic picture and invisible processes behind the existence of these devices.
This project also aims to investigate the current “invisible prosthetic problem” by presenting hacking as a means to a sustainable future. This aforementioned problem emerges when these prosthetic extensions are not experienced and catered for as such which becomes heightened due to an alienation in the Marxist sense. This allows those who are able to control the technology of these prosthetic extensions to effectively dominate our society.
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 inter- actions. 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)
Va-Bene Fiatsi, Emeka Ogboh, Oben-Fosu, Eyram Donkor, Sadat Mohammed, Frank Gyabeng, Morkporkpor, Afia Asare, Jacaob Danquah, Awilo, Ato Annan, Mr. Osei-Bonsu, Appiah Bilal