As our personal electronics quickly lose their relevance when new technologies emerge, we become accustomed to more “new” without quite knowing what to do with the old. Using recycled floppy disks, film negatives and other obsolete technologies as his canvases, British artist Nick Gentry calls on his viewers to donate their old electronic equipment so that their e-waste can be converted into part of his delicate portraiture.
“The data canvases are constructed by securing computer disks onto a wood base. The recorded data still exists on the disks, but this process renders it useless and inaccessible. Obsolete media meets both its final destruction and preservation in a new form,” said Gentry about his process. “The placement of each disk is a very selective process in order to create the overall tonal range of the composite image. The surrounding edges are then masked off to create a silhouette figure. Finally, the details of the features are added, but only where strictly necessary, allowing the labels to remain visible. The negative artworks are created by inlaying film and x-rays between multiple sheets of acrylic. Each negative varies in tone and this determines its placement within the artwork. A second level of tone and depth is created by overlaying the negatives to make use of opacity and light. Each negative has its own particular story. A unique and personal moment in time has been captured through the camera and once again in the artwork.”