The exhibition Lithium includes contributions by researchers, designers, musicians and artists. A Charged Dream by story designer Alice Wong unveils the history of the lithium-ion battery. The video installation exposes the ways in which batteries are charged – not only with electricity, but also with ideologies.
Since their invention in 1973, lithium-ion batteries have promised a green redemption from the escalating climate crisis. Yet how sustainable is the continuous striving for more energy?
From the presidential address by Richard Nixon during the 1973 oil crisis, to the aggressive commercials for long-lasting devices and the spectacular pitches of Elon Musk, the work is centred on the language of promises to “recharge”. Playfully depicting how lithium has come to power the exuberant lifestyles of consumerism and production, the film questions the techno-capitalist vision of the future driven by Tesla and the major battery producers.
Alice Wong is a story designer based in Eindhoven. She teaches at Design Academy Eindhoven in the MA Information Design department. Her work aims to translate research into multi-perspective narratives, challenging the understanding of how reality is shaped. Her principal topic of interest is the intersection of biographical documentary, media and social phenomena.
Lithium Cosmologies and Energy Landscapes
The discursive programme TNL! Lithium offers an in-depth addition to the exhibition that is now showing at Het Nieuwe Instituut. (Online) visitors can be recharged by the sustainable energy source of lectures and debates. In each event, they can learn more about the role that lithium plays in the different forms and aspects of burn-out that are covered by the exhibition; from raw material extraction to mental health and the so-called green energy landscape.