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Your Old Phone Could End Up as e-Artwork

Computer parts make beautiful arts and crafts material. Your old phone, CD’s or computer could end up as e-Artwork in the hands of an e-waste designer.



Jewelry from waste computer and cell-phone parts
Jewelry from waste computer and cell-phone parts

Everyday Electronic Objects in Contemporary Art



David Nderitu, a formerly homeless teen makes jewelry from waste computer and cell-phone parts. He manages to make 60 pairs of earrings from the scrap materials in about 15 days. David Nderitu according to Kenya's Daily Nation says his venture into the profit-making jewelry business can be attributed to motivational speakers who always visited the Children, Youth Empowerment Center in Nyeri County. 


The Children, Youth Empowerment Center provides educational and social services to former street-dwelling children of Kenya with the goal of teaching the children a trade that they can use to support themselves.


David states the center has professors from universities such as The Pennsylvania State University Owen Reitenauer in The United States and The University of Nairobi who give motivational forums on the creation of employment through the use of waste materials. 


When Owen Reitenauer spent two weeks volunteering at the Children and Youth Empowerment Center, it was a life-changing experience, not just him but also for David. During his visit in June 2010, Reitenauer made an important decision, to sponsor David’s education.

Computer arts and crafts
Computer arts and crafts

At 16, David was picked by an administrator to join a children’s home in Thunguma where he first realized that indeed there could be life out of the streets. He was then enrolled in a welding program in the jua kali sector at the center from which he got the unique idea of making jewelry using scrap-material from phones and computer motherboards for a tidy sum of money.


According to the now defunct company Revivn, they are a company re-purposing outdated technology to support education in low-income communities. Revivn states on their website they build various corporate initiatives that collect unused electronics and provide them to people who lack computer access. Revivn impact programs raise awareness about the power of re-purposing technology and create a company culture of giving back.


In June 2014 Revivn released its list of 10 Artists Using E-Waste here are our three favorite artists: Steven Rodrig creates sculptures from e-waste using circuit boards for his trademark green designs and builds a variety of cleverly named objects. Alex Matizo is a 19-year-old from Kenya who recently started a business selling the jewelry and art she makes from e-waste. Her earrings are fashionable, functional, and friendly to the environment. Peter McFarlane imagines the fossils of our time through e-waste representations of ancient fossils.


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