Untitled (Whiteout)

Stu Sontier
Auckland, New Zealand

Untitled, May 2020
Four pictures for reclaimed ink

Artist site

Instagram @stusontierphoto

Artist Statement

Through ‘playful’ work I create visual artifacts through mining the detritus of digital technology. The following works are what I think of as serious play for art creation in an age of enough.
Using defunct consumer printers found on the roadside or secondhand markets, I deconstruct and collate the parts, attempting to recycle the metal and electronics. At the bottom of most printers is hidden waste – the ink absorbers that suck up waste ink from cleaning cycles. In the age of obsolescence and artificial waste, this denotes the ultimate – ink taken from the highly expensive plastic ink cartridges in order to clean and keep the printer functioning.

From these ink absorbers I extract the waste ink, let it combine with rain water in outside tanks (and hence whatever might blow or fly in), and then dip various papers (often recycled paper, printed on one side, or papers saved from the dump). This forms a meditative operation over a day or more, that is like a personal exercise. It focuses attention on aspects of our culture that can and should be different, the depths of a consumer culture item that is indicative of many of the wrong aspects of contemporary economic practice – both the planned obsolescence and the artificial production of waste that deeply offends me.



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