wasteink – wastepaper
stu sontier takes the detritus of inkjet printing and subjects these materials to investigation in a commentary on obsolescence and the complicity of digital and electronic technology in creating waste and pollution.
Consumer and commercial inkjet printers undergo regular cleaning cycles that purge inks through the printhead. That wasteink gets removed from the print area in one of the most ingenious pieces of engineering in the printer – one reason the disposable cartridges don’t last long. The ink is stored in soak pads often at the base of the printer and uneconomic to service.
One mode of failure of consumer printers is when these soak pads are full. This usually results in the printer being dumped. Sontier has intervened before the dumping, acquiring printers from secondhand markets and curbsides to dismantle and recover the waste ink.
Papers vary from surplus materials to offcuts from the commercial printing of photographs.