indian artist haribaabu naatesan (hari) transforms over 2805 pieces of scrap metal in the lifesize ‘think blue beetle‘,
created for the like-titled ecological awareness campaign by volkswagen. the car utilizes 800 spark plugs, 200 bottle caps,
60 mother boards, audio cassettes, speakers, cans, keyboards, typewriters, and hundreds of other materials.
the scrap material was collected by volkswagen over the course of various cleanup drives. hari then dismantled each object
and segregated it by shape. ‘I see all objects as forms,‘ the artist explains in an interview with the asian age newspaper.
‘so my mind is always open to thinking I can create this out of this form. in the ‘think blue beetle’ you’ll see that I have
used old speakers for the headlights, a mouse for the indicator light. for the wheel caps, we sourced old gramophone
records… the function (of the discarded object) isn’t important, I work according to the form.‘
interestingly, hari uses the indian religious concept of ‘mukti’, the liberation from the cycle of reincarnation,
as a metaphor for his craft. while at the same time reusing and readapting physical materials, hari notes,
‘what I do is give the material mukti. whatever material I use, it remains art forever; [on the conceptual level]
it is not recycled again.’
the ‘think blue beetle’ in on exhibition through february 12th, 2012, in mumbai at the kala ghoda art festival,
before moving to an art museum in germany.
detail on ‘VW’ insignia
3/4 rear view of the car on exhibition at kala ghoda art festival in mumbai
closer view of hood
image courtesy rushlane