Focused on the interconnections between data mining, mineral mining, and the mechanization of labor, Mine brings together a collection of recent works including several large cardboard sculptures imitating giant automated mining machines; a series of wall-mounted paper reliefs and printed vitrines; and a new Augmented Reality sculpture based on a 2019 patent drawing filed by Amazon.com for a delivery worker replacement drone.
Denny’s artwork raises questions about the effects of further automation on the limited jobs still left in increasingly mechanized sectors such as mining, service, and logistics.
What happens as the labor force shrinks in these traditional industries? How will individuals and worker communities dialogue with those in power in the future? Where will the leverage they once brought now come from?
Amazon’s drone design contains a hot air balloon, recalling the speculative balloon-based flying machine epoch of defining technological developments such as hot air balloons, airships, or Zeppelins, that have become symbols of both achievement and caution in centuries past. Denny's new sculpture projects an animated AR model of a revolving, rocky, mineral-rich, planet Earth onto the drone’s balloon bulge.
This vision of Earth-as-resource is borrowed from the advertising materials of one of Amazon’s most prominent data services clients: the multinational mining group Rio Tinto. Spinning inside the body of the Zeppelin drone, the “Earth-rock” transforms Amazon's worker-replacement model into a raw terrestrial globe, without oceans or other representations of life.