Photography company specializing in product marketing pivoted to framing disassembled gadgets, creating a niche outlet to turn e-waste into art.
As the world grapples with the issue of e-waste, an innovative photography company is turning broken, obsolete and unused tech products into ‘deconstructed art.’ While the pieces are definitely a collector’s dream, their long-term impact might be on the environment. Technology advancements have improved critical aspects of human life, such as healthcare, communication, and access to information, but at an environmental cost. Every product, from cars to smartphones, has an impact on the environment through its production and continued use.
Even products that do not exist in the physical world, like NFTs and the metaverse, impact the environment in ways some may have not yet considered. It’s relatively easy to understand how the production of consumer products like smartphones harm the environment. They require a certain amount of natural resources for production, undergo production processes that require power, and release toxic gases into the atmosphere. However, the environmental consequences of wireless services like cryptocurrency, streaming and the metaverse are much more discreet. These services require the same production processes in the servers that keep them going while also consuming as much power as a small country. That’s why the technology industry has to constantly rethink how it handles its environmental impact and e-waste.
Xreart has taken this mission to protect the environment from e-waste a step further, turning the concept into a profitable business model, according to the company’s website. Established back in 2019 as Xreart Studio, specializing in product photography and marketing, the company has since shifted from photography to deconstructing and framing old technology products. Xreart explains that the team expressed concern with how obsolete products are destined for landfills, contributing to the long-term problem of e-waste. Then, when one of its lead photographers broke an iPhone beyond repair, the idea of framing the smartphone’s components emerged.
Xreart Makes ‘Deconstruction Art’ of Obsolete Tech
Xreart’s products feature some of the most iconic devices of the 2000s and 2010s in teardown form. It’s common to see consumer products deconstructed for review or repair purposes, but seeing a product torn down as art is unique. The company collects used phones and other electronics from bulk suppliers which would traditionally be destined for disposal in a landfill. Instead, Xreart cleans and deconstructs the devices before overlaying them in custom frames. Potentially-dangerous components — like batteries — are withheld, but all other components are overlaid and identified by name or use.
The end result is a statement piece for any technology lover or collector, but it’s environmentally-friendly nature is what stands out. Every product that ends up as a framed piece of art is one that does not end up as e-waste in a landfill. While reuse and recycling are both great options to keep the environment free of e-waste, there comes a time when products can no longer be used daily or even for parts. When that time comes, it’s better to see these tech products salvaged and turned into art than end up as another concern to the planet’s environment.
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