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Vishwanath Mallabadi bats for eco art with e-waste

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Eco-artist Vishwanath Mallabadi creates beautiful eco art from unusual material

During his free time, Vishwanath Mallabadi is found either segregating and making an inventory of the e-waste that he has collected from different scrap dealers, or working to give the e-waste a new lease of life. Sometimes he finds himself a seat at the division in his office where the safe handling of hazardous e-waste is taught.

This 57-year-old senior consultant with Wipro in Bengaluru aims to give e-waste a new lease of life and make defunct gadgets a part of our life, albeit in a safe way. Vishwanath was in town to showcase his creative collection and talk about putting e-waste to good use at a two-day International Data Science Technology Conference for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. At the first-ever conference of its kind, he spoke of how discarded old phones or the spiral cord of a telephone are not useless for an eco-artist. “No e-waste is a waste for me; I turn it into worthy objects. Over the years I have collected a ton of e-waste. Once I have collected and segregated it, I work on my designs,” says Vishwanath.

Vishwanath Mallabadi bats for eco art with e-waste

Going through his collection, one sees that he has turned useless motherboards, CPUs, EPROMs, SMD Radial Capacitors, Laptop’s LED display boards, discarded glucometers, PCB boards etc into beautiful objects like clocks, wall hangings, dummy robots, sculptures...the list goes on. Vishwanath has been seriously working on his passion, eco-art, for the past six years and has hundreds of such objects.

His procedure of designing an object of art begins with visualising, followed by grading according to texture and colour for a definite form. So how does Vishwanath visualise new creation from old obsolete objects? “I see e-waste in different shapes, forms, texture and colour and conceptualize artwork. I find a pile of garbage is obtrusive, but with a human touch, by sorting the garbage, arranging it according to the colours and forms, a new aesthetic object can be created, he opines. “Ugliness transforms into beauty. By sorting and recycling electronic waste, I create something qualitatively unique. I am fascinated with experimenting and searching for new and abstract ways to create unique things,” he adds.

“As of now, I don’t have any plans to sell my works. However, I would be interested in executing custom designs. These are my personal collections and I am very passionate about them. I do it just as a hobby. It all started when I dismantled an obsolete Nokia hand phone and saw the beautiful circuit inside. After that I put many parts of such unused electronic devices and designed a spider. It was my first art piece with scrap and I was thrilled to put it all in place. That instance also helped me identify the creative side,” says Vishwanath is a qualified visual artist.

Vishwanath Mallabadi bats for eco art with e-waste

The artist also works on 4-5 projects simultaneously as he doesn’t like to lose time in getting hold of newer waste. “Some printed circuit boards are hard and wired by using gold. They appear to be very attractive. At a time when we are generating more e-waste than we can recycle, upcycling it is the only way out. I definitely feel there has to be an innovative way to deal with the heaps of e-waste piling up. Upscaling is the only way to deal with environmental sustainability and to arrest the problem of reducing landfills,” adds Vishwanath.

Some of the noteworthy art workshe created include Azim Premji’s portrait, ‘a future city’ landscape painting inspired by Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’. For the city painting, Vishwanath used upscale resistor on wood that is coated and finished with clear epoxy resin.

“Being a designer and one who cares for the environment, I am concerned about the future generation and the work I do, I hope, will help in the betterment of tha generation. The economics behind my initiative is, if each person stops discarding end of life products,upcycling or re-using will make a major difference in healthy living,” he stresses.

He conducts workshop and seminars to spread his message.

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Printable version | Dec 7, 2019 5:59:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/vishwanath-mallabadi-e-waste-wipro-eco-artist/article29944218.ece

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