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. A gradually disintegrating, screen-printed photograph of former Samsung factory worker Jin and a video documenting its creation are being superimposed with her and other industry experts’ stories of inadequate health measures at work. Jin was diagnosed with kidney cancer.
Interweaving stories and fibres, the used ink is corrosive and made of chemically dissolved smartphones. Analogous to the industry’s etching processes, the ink will disintegrate the print over time, skinning a surface in which’s lower layers Jin’s story is already inscribed. The toxicity hidden behind the many steps in semiconductor manufacturing and the effect of the labour necessary to shape our high-tech products shifts focus towards the middle-west.
Fates like Jin’s are not isolated cases and can be traced far across the industry.