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About the Author
Julia Christensen (b. 1976, St. Louis) is a multidisciplinary artist who explores systems of technology, consumerism, landscape, and obsolescence.
Karen Kelly is the author of Prospice and Bethlehem. She has a BA degree in English from Vanderbilt University.
Investigates the Effects of Technological Obsolescence--Elisa Wouk-Almino "Hyperallergic"
Christensen's writing and conversations illustrate the complex, fascinating and often fraught relationship of technology to different time scales, where outdated artifacts both contain our personal memories and litter outer space. Her attitude toward time is as humane as it is useful, allowing us to imagine planning for something other than our own obsolescence.--Jenny Odell "Artist, educator, and author of How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy"
An extraordinary exploration of nature, time, and technology. Julia Christensen offers a terrifying and enlightening exposition of our relationship to time and material. She also shows how we can transcend our culture of obsolescence and reach out to wrap other species in a matured sense of time. The book sparkles with insight and unexpected connections.--David George Haskell "Author of The Forest Unseen, Pulitzer finalist, and The Songs of Trees, winner of the Burroughs Medal. Professor, University of the South"
We are in a moment of reckoning: now or never, we must face the mountains of trash we produce each year, the persistent myth of its recyclability, and what to do about it. In an account that is both personal and sweeping, Julia Christensen turns her artistic and academic focus upon the global traffic of "e-waste," the outmoded electronic consumer goods that we are compelled to continually discard then upgrade to stay connected. Part travelogue and part media archaeology, Upgrade Available meditates on the ways in which the logic of the upgrade has reshaped our relationships to time and to the planet. Bringing together artists, technologists, curators, and activists in a series of conversations and essays, Christensen begins an urgent investigation of the future of preservation on a grand scale: in an era of disposability, how can might we save anything, including humanity and the earth itself.--Kris Paulsen "Associate Professor, History of Art, The Ohio State University, and author of Here/There: Telepresence, Touch, and Art at the Interface"
A brilliant, beautiful, terrifying, timely, surprising, delightful book. Upgrade Available illuminates our e-world (living and dead), waking us to our place on this ever-burdened planet. If only all of us were as inquisitive and mindful as Julia Christensen, regarding our daily relationship to technology. Christensen explores profound questions about space and time alongside our material visions for the future, our detritus left behind. Upgrade is deeply impressive.--Paige Williams "New Yorker staff writer and author of The Dinosaur Artist"
Julia Christensen's book and body of work exemplifies why we should look to artists for novel perspectives and responses to complex social phenomena: for the discipline-transcending, research-based, delightfully non-linear, and ultimately transformative interventions and solutions.--Jae Rhim Lee "TED Senior Fellow and Founder and CEO, Coeio, Inc."
The book calls into question our eagerness to constantly update our personal technology and how this thirst is interfering with our relationship to time. It's charming and eerie.--Editors "Cultured"
Upgrade Available is fundamentally a book of technological disillusionment, as it pulls back the curtain to show us what we do not want to see: our obsession with tech has catastrophic consequences.--Hall W. Rockefeller "Brooklyn Rail"