formafantasma presents their latest work for the NVG triennial at the national gallery of victoria, melbourne – an ambitious investigation into the recycling of precious electronic waste. making use of a diverse range of media, ‘ore streams’ includes furniture concepts designed using old computers and phones, aiming to address the meaning of production in multiple perspectives and offer an insight into how design can be an invaluable agent for change.

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
office furniture concepts repurpose electronic waste
all images courtesy of formafantasma/ikon

 

 

using form and colour to initiate a deeper exploration of ‘above ground mining’ formafantasma draw attention to the complex role design plays in transforming resources, presenting the collection acts as a trojan horse. ore streams composes of a range of office furniture including a cabinet, desk, table and a low chair, using dead-stock and recycled materials.

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
computer parts are secured onto office cubicles

 

 

the electronic or technological aspect of the waste give makes the objects appear austere at first, and unfamiliar. yet within moments certain elements become recognisable: an aerating grid from a microwave, the body of a microwave integrated into a shelf hanging, mobile phone castings, and a computer keyboard making up part of a cubicle. once these aspects merge, their form as intended is easier to spot. 

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
a standing cabinet pairs transparent glass with six empty computer towers used as drawers

 

 

in ore streams formafantasma juxtaposes these industrially built objects with nasa-released images of planet mars’ crateral surface, referring to the alien origins of many of earth’s metals. the studio makes reference to the idea that whilst for this specialised project, gold may have been recycled from its’ former purpose electronic goods, from a wider view the material not only belongs to this planet but to the ecosystem at large. 

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
a low chair is built from CNC-milled aluminium

 

 

to finish items, the studio uses gold scavenged from electronic waste, most visible as cladding on the inside of a leather trash bin. the same technique has also been used as one thing section of the CNC-milled aluminium chair and in two iPhones and a keyboard placed in the table and cubicle.

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
electrical elements of the repurposes materials are exposed

 

 

the exhibit will also include an eighteen-channel video installation aiming to unpack the problematics of e-waste through a series of documentaries. they will feature interviews conducted with recycling experts such as practitioners of the recycling sector and academic researchers, hoping to offer global strategies that can be applied in order to design products for more efficient recycling.

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
skeletons of old computers provide the framework for office desks

 

 

at the core of the video installation will be an animation where formafantasma makes use of 3D rendering as a tool to visualise these strategies. the concepts displayed are conceived considering the recycling technologies now in place and the limitations of facilities across developed and developing countries.

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
keyboards provide decorative elements

 

 

the work has been curated by ewan mc eoin and commissioned by the national gallery of victoria as part of the new NGV triennial, their campaign to source and celebrate over 100 international and contemporary artists. the triennial will feature both works of art and design and will be open to the public from the 15th december 2017 until 15th april 2018.

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
aerating grids from microwaves are used in this office table

 

formafantasma ore streams electronic waste NVG triennial national gallery of victoria
a stack of old iphones helps create a level for the table’s surfaces

 

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