Felix Lenz - The Cleanroom Paradox

Felix Lenz

The Cleanroom Paradox

Dismantling the deceptively pristine image of the high-tech industry »The Cleanroom Paradox« unveils the systemic suppression of information on occupational and toxic hazards at semiconductor production sites.

locationVienna
year2021
filed asvideo-essay, research
project byFelix Lenz, Angela Neubauer, Eszter Zwickl
initiated atDesign Investigations (ID2), University of Applied Arts Vienna
special thanksSHARPS [activist group]
exhibitionsArs Electronica Festival 2021
Angewandte Festival 21
awardsHonorary Mention – Prix Ars Electronica 2021
STARTS Prize 2021 Nomination
photographyFelix Lenz, Angela Neubauer

Description

Jin is a former Samsung factory worker whose employer failed to acknowledge the lack of adequate precautionary health measures during work procedures. After her time in the industry, she is left alone to deal with the drastic consequences: a kidney cancer diagnosis.

The work comprises a gradually disintegrating, custom print of Jin and a video documenting the portrait’s creation. The video-essay is superimposed with her own as well as experts’ personal stories, shedding light on the industry’s latent practices.
Interweaving stories and fibres, the used ink is made of chemically dissolved smartphones. Analogous to the industry’s etching processes, the toxic agent will corrode the print over time, skinning a surface in which’s lower layers Jin’s story is already inscribed.
But this is not only a bodily exposure; the toxicity hidden behind the many steps in semiconductor manufacturing and the extent and effect of the labour necessary to shape high-tech products shifts focus towards the main actors, towards the middle-west, demanding responsibilities.

Fates like Jin’s are not isolated cases and can be traced across the industry in the Eastern as well as Western Hemisphere.

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Credits

PROJECT BY:
Felix Lenz
Angela Neubauer
Eszter Zwickl

PRODUCED AT & SUPPORTED BY:
Design Investigations (ID2)
University of Applied Arts Vienna

VIDEO-DIRECTOR, CINEMATOGRAPHER, EDITOR:
Felix Lenz

VIDEO CO-DIRECTORS & STORY EDITORS:
Angela Neubauer
Eszter Zwickl


SOUND DESIGN & MIX:
Lisa-Maria Hollaus

VOICE EDITORS:
Ganael Dumreicher
Lorenz Embacher


INTERVIEWEES:
Jin [name altered]
Seong-Ho Jeon
Seung-Gyu Jo
Dr. Richard Clapp


INTERPRETER:
Semi Kwon

SCREEN PRINTING SPECIALIST:
Ute Huber Leierer


SPECIAL THANKS:
SHARPS [activist group]