The unusual powers of disposing





Title: Memorandum for colonial mining policy
Year: 2020
Format: HD Video
Duration: 01:55 mins




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The unusual powers of disposing is an ever-growing body of work that attempts to illustrate the insiduous movements of extractivist material, waning blood ties and fertile becomings.  

The movement of tricalcium phosphate, the prime natural resource harvested on Christmas Island during British rule of the Straits Settlements. Phosphate mining began there in 1899 using indentured labour from Singapore, Malaya and China; continuing to present-day Christmas Island Phosphates (CIRP).

The resource was, and still is, used in everyday objects—toothpaste, porcelain, baby powder and baking products. Archival photographs and documents paired with domestic materials derived from phosphate, crystallise how the colonial trade of yesteryear continue to haunt us.

A video piece revisits the former empire’s guide on mining, set against the backdrop of CIRP’s autobiographical video. Using scientific findings of phosphate impact on corals as a method of mapping the installation, the work charts the relative invisibility of this slow violence enacted upon the native coral reefs and its former indentured labour. 




[0.4] 2021 ︎︎︎ Tropic of Cancer

Non verbal presentation, xx:xx 




Miscellaneous collection Christmas Island maps (National Archives of Australia, 1837-1931)


[0.3] 2020 ︎︎︎ Memorandum for colonial mining policy (Revisited)

HD Video, single channel, 01:55



Memorandum for colonial mining policy (revisited) is video piece that revisits the former empire’s guide on mining, set against the backdrop of CIRP’s autobiographical video. Leaning on a copy of the Memorandum for colonial mining policy via Kew Archives, it is combined with Christmas Island Phosphate’s corporate video.

Using scientific findings of phosphate impact on corals as a method of mapping the installation, the work charts the relative invisibility of this slow violence enacted upon the native coral reefs and its former indentured labour. Unveiling the connection between the grand and the mundane, the work reveals the power matrix in the everyday in its concealment of phosphate.


[0.2] 2020 ︎︎︎ Best bonding experience, Your baked goods, Retain its beauty, Little magic crystals, Fresh breath fresh mind

Baby powder, porcelain dust, baking powder, sugar, toothpaste, glue and MDF



[0.1] 2020 ︎︎︎ Asiatics

National Archives of Australia