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This piece was inspired by an issue that I feel strongly about, namely the mining of coltan for use in consumer electronics, and the use of digital communication in the current paradigm shift.
Coltan is a rare mineral that can withstand high degrees of heat, so it has become an essential ingredient in the battery capacitors of our consumer electronics, including all of our laptops, mp3 players and cell phones. Coltan is mined in the Congo by slave labor, including what the United States Department of Labor listed as the "worst forms of child labor." 5.4 million deaths have been attributed to the mining. I think that this is a dark truth worth knowing as we surf our facebook profiles and use our phones to call our loved ones, for our technologically privileged lifestyles come at a terrible price.
This issue is particularly important to understand as a digital artist. Our technology was mined from the womb of the Earth. When we realize where our toys are coming from, it illustrates our responsibility to use that technology to sublimate the very system that produces it. We can use our technology to connect the hearts and minds of millions of people. We can use the power of our digital networks to organize and transmit a message of Unity. Let us use these tools for the benefit of all beings.
May 25th, 2011
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