02 Nov 2010 /

tantalum memorial

By graham harwood, richard wright & matsuko yokokoji
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Tantalum Memorial (2008) is a telephony-based memorial installation to the people who have died as a result of the Coltan Wars in the Congo.  Coltan is the industrial name for a mineral that is essential for the manufacture of electronics, particularly mobile phones.  It has been argued that the demand and purchase of this commodity has financed several civil wars.
The installation is constructed out of electromagnetic Strowger switches—the basis of the first automatic telephone exchange invented in 1888.

Photo courtesy of the artists and KURATOR.

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