Bright sparks turn old circuits into beautiful insects

4 May 2015

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With so much e-waste clogging up our landfill sites, it’s nice to know that one group of people is using some of this to create some pretty awesome insect designs.

To put the amount of e-waste generated into context, the UN estimated recently that, in 2014, we threw away US$52bn-worth of valuable metals that are found in common electronic devices, but thanks to UK-based artist Julie Alice Chappell, we at least have some nice results from such waste.

Based in Portsmouth, the artist gathered up the remnants of circuit boards from discarded electronics to transform them into beautifully-coloured insects such as moths, beetles and butterflies in a series called simply, Computer Component Bugs.

Speaking to Permaculture, Chappell rather unsurprisingly said she created the series to raise the issue of e-waste: “The recycled bits of cultural refuse that are woven throughout my work represent a direct encounter with the excesses of modern living highlighting the dangers of planned obsolescence and e-waste in the environment.

“The work displays an aesthetic beauty whilst offering a socio-political discourse, attempting to reclaim waste and the destruction of the natural world, in the beauty of visual art.”

Circuit board beetle

Circuit board dragonfly

Circuit board disco floor

Circuit board butterfly

Circuit board moth

Circuit board bumble bee

All images via Julie Alice Chappell’s Facebook page

Gigglebit is Siliconrepublic’s daily dose of the funny and fantastic in science and tech, to help start your day on a lighter note – because sometimes the lighter side of STEM should be taken seriously, too.

Colm Gorey is a journalist with Siliconrepublic.com

editorial@siliconrepublic.com