Digital Doubt outside the circle

Earthing Discharge

2019-2021 By Marjolijn Dijkman
This image shows three images of moss-green objects emitting fluorescent
blue light. The images all have a black background.
Photographs from Earthing Discharge, Marjolijn Dijkman, 2019-2021. Courtesy the artist and NOME.

Marjolijn Dijkman’s photographic series Earthing Discharge is inspired by research carried out by the artist and her collaborators in a lithium mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Here, Dijkman depicts electrical currents conducted by spodumene minerals with lithium from the DRC to power everyday objects.

Dijkman’s series illuminates the quintessentially industrial method of resource excavation used to produce the lithium-powered devices we have come to rely on. If producing the tools of the future currently depends on the harmful practices of the past, are we solving a problem or creating new ones? By turning invisible electricity into something eye-catching and radiant, Dijkman encourages us to interrogate electricity, particularly groundbreaking “clean” energy like lithium — something we have come to depend on, but almost never see.