MIT Project Turned MoMA Exhibit Examines The Second Lives of Gadgets

Posted Jul 21, 2011

MIT’s Backtalk project, now preparing for display at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, asks the question “what if our devices kept talking back to us after we disposed of them?” and demonstrates visually where our abandoned tech goeswhen we leave it behind. The MIT SENSEable City Lab team used GPS tracking to trace the journey of discarded gadgets, from printer cartridges and batteries to cellphones and netbooks. The associate director of the lab, Assaf Biderman, calls the forgotten electronics “both a toxic liability and a potentially valuable resource.” The MoMA exhibit, which opens on the 24th of this month, will give consumers some idea of the future of the technology we own, and how we could handle tech we’re ready to abandon. [Engadget]