Dissecting Technocapitalism


London-based fictional consultancy PostRational presents an exhibition on the emerging topic of cyber waste, which also lends their project and show its title. This field studies the detrimental social and environmental effects of the internet and behaviors emerging directly from the networked economy.


Starting from the view that the digital is as real and material as the fingers on our hands, Cyber-Waste shines a light on out-of-sight waste streams that are produced—and concealed—by our ever-increasing entanglement in networks. Working with mentor Evgeny Morozov, PostRational brings theoretical and creative critique to a topic that demands attention.

Research started in Spring 2020, just as the coronavirus and ensuing shutdown of economies and lockdowns further revealed and entrenched our dependence on digital technologies and services. In October 2020, PostRational presented, a digital dossier with an assemblage of research findings to date, a film and text unpacking Cyber-Waste, and a simple platform for displaying and gathering the waste streams of consciousness.

Coldharbour Belvedere, a small area on the boundary between London and Kent.
Building London's super sewer
Battersea power recycling

PostRational will continue to develop and hone this approach, working with Morozov and intending to critique the work with creators and theorists during the project’s digital work-stay in collaboration with the organization for technology and society, Waag, in March 2021.

The Forecast Festival in April will see the evolution of these ideas into a hybrid exhibition that explores some of Cyber-Waste‘s various, yet connected, strands. A series of digital “rooms” will each represent a different site of cyber waste, from the mines where the rare-earth metals that go into digital infrastructure are extracted, to the vast data centers that record our every move. Emphasizing the assertion that the digital has material form and traces on earth, Berlin’s radialsystem will comprise one of the exhibition’s rooms and broadcast Cyber-Waste’s narrated introduction.


PostRational, Cyber-Waste (2020)

Morozov says, “At a time when the pandemic has revealed just how vulnerable we are and how misguidedly we have gone about setting our priorities, Dan Gavshon-Kirkbride and James Pockson, through PostRational, have trailblazed a unique approach to an issue that is long overdue for both theorizing and taking on empirically: cyber waste. They have shown both enviable analytical rigor and flexibility in approaching this challenging issue. Their work promises to put this extremely important but still mostly invisible subject at the center of our intellectual and policy agenda.”

Cyber-Waste project collaborators: Justin Bean ,Kat Waters, George Ellison, and Kenn Hartwig.