Vishwanath Mallabadi Davangere creates art out of discarded metal or plastic items, old gadgets, and dysfunctional printed circuit boards. For him, nothing is a waste.
The 60-year-old first dismantles computers, DVDs, floppy drives, set-top boxes, old landlines and cordless phones, and even medical devices such as glucometers.
Then, he extracts copper, gold or multi-coloured wires, keyboards and computer components that are useful according to texture, colour and form to make beautiful artwork.
The eco-artist has upcycled and transformed nearly 200 kg of e-waste into usable products like jewellery, murals and sculptures to abstract art, art installations, wall art, and even robots.
“I started this as a fun activity; creating small animals out of scrap from gadgets. I used to collect a lot of e-waste, and nobody knew what I was trying to do exactly,” says Vishwanath with a laugh.
“But upon learning about the implications of e-waste on the environment, I started creating murals and sculptures, and slowly it turned into a business, post my retirement,” he adds.
So far, the eco-artist has created more than 500 artefacts. These include a six-foot-tall sculpture made from upcycled computer keyboard keys on a mannequin.
He has also designed a landscape inspired by Vincent Van Gogh’s The Starry Night, using upcycled resistors on wood, which was later coated with clear epoxy resin.
Vishwanath is also working on a mural installation and 3D sculpture which he proposes to display in the Bengaluru metro.