How Do You Put Out a Lithium-Ion Battery Fire?

to be recycled smartphones, fire repellent artificial gravel
70 x 60 × 15 cm

The sculpture “How Do You Put Out a Lithium-Ion Battery Fire?” is comprised of ca. 50 to be recycled smart phones arranged to a pile. A special fire repellent artificial gravel is mixed in between them to prevent the spread of fire. Old used smart phones are a highly problematic and dangerous good in many ways. Recycling companies are not allowed to give them out because of the private user data which is still stored on them. Additionally the old lithium-ion batteries pose a threat because they could catch spontaneous fire out of malfunction. This could lead to a whole stack of old phones would go up in flames. Therefore the phones are normally stored in metal containers filled with fire repellent artificial gravel. Since the phones could also catch spontaneous fire in the gallery space the sculpture needs to be removed every night, stored securely and is setup every morning in the same manner.

As long the phone serves the user it is a precious,and highly addictive device always in reach day and night. Once it is old, broke and discarded it carries the weight of countless hours emotional attachment, highly private information and might catch fire any time without warning.


  • Open, Roehrs & Boetsch, Zurich, 2019
  • Call Me, galeriepcp, Paris, 2022
  • The World In My Hand, Alexanser Tutsek-Stiftung, München, 2024

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