Five Body Problems #3, (Afterlives), Exhibition at LACL Digital Commons - CODAworx

Five Body Problems #3, (Afterlives), Exhibition at LACL Digital Commons

Submitted by Dev Harlan


Location: Los Angeles, CA, United States

Completion date: 2022

Artwork budget: $5,000

Project Team

Devan Harlan

Standard Vision

Standard Vision


Exploring themes of global resource extraction and the myth of limitless consumption, this moving image artwork uses 3D animation to depict a gyrating swarm of discarded technology in one of its most ubiquitous forms – mobile devices. Large natural boulders push their way through the chaos in direct reference to the extraction of rare earth minerals and metals found in all electronic devices. The molten metals ripple through in hues of gold, copper, platinum and silver, while a streaming type displays the average annual volume of rare earth metals extracted globally.

This work was selected for the 2022-2023 curatorial program at the Los Angeles Public Library Central Branch, Digital Commons wing. Digital placement facilitated in part by Standard Vision LA.


The LACL Digital Commons wing features a large LED display designated for public art work. It is an honor to have my work selected for exhibition in this space where I hope it has found a receptive audience.

While the goal of the work is to address ongoing global and environmental issues the work assumes that most people are already inundated with bad news about the state of the planet and attempts to avoid being overly didactic. In this work I use aesthetic compositions and visual spectacle to first draw the viewer into the work, which may then invite deeper reflection on the issues at stake.