b/NdAlTaAu, 2015

Installation View: Rare Earth, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna 2015. Photo: Joe Clark | TBA21

Precious metals and rare earth minerals are mined from destroyed hard drives and reformed back into mineral form. The artificial ore is composed of neodymium (Nd), aluminium (Al), tantalum (Ta) and gold (Au) and positioned next to the techno-ruins - the artists’ “mine.ˮ Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are engaged in a long-term project on coltan mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo, engaging with the artisanal practices used to extract minerals for electronic consumer goods. For this commission they take on the labor usually outsourced to underpaid workers in conflict zones, but perform the extraction from the other end of the production spectrum. 
b/NdAlTaAu, 2015 has been commissioned by TBA21 for the exhibition Rare Earth at TBA21-Augarten.

Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen are a London-based artist duo whose work is occupied with the broad implications of material and production. They work across objects, installation, and film to explore the idea of production as a cultural, ethical, and political process. Their practice experiments with design as a medium, reconfiguring processes, systems, and organisms in order to question the contexts in which they operate. Since graduating from the Royal College of Art in 2008, Cohen and Van Balen have been exhibiting and lecturing internationally. Recent exhibitions took place at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Tel Aviv Museum of Art; National Museum of China; Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco; and Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam, among others. Their work is in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; M+ Museum, Hong Kong; and London Science Museum. They are the recipients of several awards and commissions, including Jerwood Makers Open, three Wellcome Trust Art Awards, Prix Ars Electronica award of 
Interview on the occassion of the exhibition RARE EARTH at TBA21, Vienna 2015