Rare-Earth - Matt DIXON

Presented during the IRCAM Forum Workshops 2023 in Paris

With our demands for electronic and computer-driven technology intensifying, rare-earth mining, and the invasive means of extracting the elements required to produce the devices which enable almost every facet of our lives, is the cause of huge environmental impact, including severe ground and air pollution, and extensive and indelible scarring of the earth’s landscape. As consumers of the end products, we are all complicit.

Via absurdist commentary, generated by a recurrent neural network processing an extensive dataset of online consumer (electronic) product reviews, and a generative sound design composed in real-time, ‘Rare-Earth’ seeks to question our drive to consume these products, and reminds us that rather than seeing technology as an extension of ourselves we might see technology as made of the raw materials of the earth.