Mineral Wasteland is an immersive film that focuses on negative impacts of technological development on the natural environment and depicts the post-human age wasteland in which digital entities will still exist on the earth but integrate with nature. It will carry the memory of consumerism, modernism and capitalism in the present Anthropocene.

  • Background
Digital Devices From My Daily Life

After the pandemic, the world becomes more digital and remote. This is my work table, which was placed with many digital devices, ranging from computers, cables to sensors. At the same time, I tried to use the trade-in and recycling service.

Trade-in Receipt
Recycling Receipt

What will happen after recycling?

At the end of 2020, human-made stuff outweighed all life on earth. Consumerism and planned obsolescence are prevalent in our high-speed society. Advances of technology are actually the consumption of natural resources and contaminate the air, soil and river.

ToxiCity, in Ghana

Although we have realised mineral and other natural resources scarcity and tried to deal with these wastes. We change our mind, design the dismantling robot, use e-waste to make new jewellery, furniture, and even develop urban mining industry, however, only less than 20% of them can be collected and recycled properly. Ironically, capitalists still produce countless new products for their wealth, and consumers like follow the main stream and satisfy their desire by buying more products. The recycling activities can’t keep pace with the growth of waste. 

Industrial Waste -> Furnitures
  • Research

“We believe that media never die: they decay, rot, reform, remix, and get historicized, reinterpreted, and collected. They either stay as a residue in the soil and as toxic living dead media or are reappropriated through artistic tinkering methodologies.” — A Geology of Media, JussiParikka

In this project, I would like to focus on negative impacts of technological development on the natural environment, and imagine the post-human age mineral wasteland, which the digital entities will still exist on the Earth but integrate with nature. The virtual ruin will have their own identity and be a part of future environment. It will carry the memory of consumerism, modernism and capitalism in the present Anthropocene.

Real Pollution Behind the Virtual Technology, and the Future

From raw mineral mining, manufacturing, shipping then to recycling, all processes generate toxic chemicals. They oxidise, corrode and then cause the acid rain. The cycle repeat itself, and generate new chemical compounds, such as sulphur oxides and nitrogen oxides, and acid rain again. And they finally will evaporate, then form the crystals and mineral wasteland.

Factors that Produce Acid Rain and Mineral Wasteland
  • Experiments

Crystal Growth Experiment 01

Epsom Salt Rose
* Magnesium Sulfate
5cm * 0.5cm * 10cm
12 hours

Aluminum Potassium Sulfate Rose
4cm * 1cm * 7cm
8 hours

Potassium Dihydrogen Phosphate Rose
5cm * 0.5cm * 10cm
8 hours

Crystalline E-waste 01

Material: Piezo Element, Ribbon Cables, Resistors, Aluminum Potassium Sulfate
Size: 3.5cm * 2cm * 7cm
Duration of Growth: 8 hours

Crystal Growth Experiment 02

Crystalline E-waste 02

Material: Sound Sensor, Ribbon Cables, Resistor, Copper Sulfate
Size: 1.8cm * 1.7cm * 4.8cm
Duration of Growth: 36 hours

Crystal Growth Experiment 03

Copper Nitrate Crystal
5cm * 1.5cm * 1.5cm
48 hours

  • Storyboard

Homepage | Voiceover

Once upon a time, sitting in the yard you could look up at the endless starry sky, chase the dancing fireflies in the fields at night, breathe in the fresh air all the time… and now, the Earth is only a wasteland. Humanity has long fled the Earth and made the Galaxy their home. But the Earth is our eternal home planet, the study of Earth has never stopped in the post-human era.

Post-human Era City
*Static Scenarios

Wires, advertising screens, smartphones, and other digital devices made from multiple metals are scattered in every corner of the city. The city is overwhelmed by e-wastes.

Process of Corrosion | Crystal Growth
*Dynamic Scenarios

Piles –> Corrosion, Redox –> Acid Rain –> Chemical Reaction –> Evaporate –> Crystal Growth
  • Mineral Wasteland
  • Details
The END of the World
Corrosion | Redox | Monitors | Phones
The END of the World
Acid Rain | Splash | Flooded City
REBIRTH of the World
Crystal Growth | On Screens
The END of the World
Acid Rain | Smog | Lightning
REBIRTH of the World
Crystal Growth | Underwater | On the Piles
REBIRTH of the World
Crystal Growth | On Piles and Screens
  • Playmode

For Best Experience – Use PC(Windows)

Chemical Support – Weilun Xu
Voiceover – Huizhi Huang
Software – Unity3D, Blender

Jan. 2021 – May. 2021

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