Off the wall: Summer 2015

taping the landscape

Iceland’s strange landscapes have been compared to those of the moon, but artist Philip Ob Rey’s most recent works embellish the view with strange objects of an earthly provenance. Ob Rey has constructed a series of dramatic black-and-white monolithic giants out of discarded VHS tape and locally-sourced materials. Each ‘Humantropy’ figure stands unsettlingly still against the harsh and desolate landscape as the recycled film is manipulated by the natural conditions. The silhouettes were designed to serve as an eerie warning about the dangers of plastic pollution and overconsumption. The artist is now calling on recycling companies to donate more materials for his next project. 

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EEE to riches

A Californian woman could be entitled to US$100,000 (£64,000) after throwing away a rare computer that was auctioned off for double that amount. In May, staff at the Clean Bay Area recycling centre in Milpitas, California, were shocked to discover someone had thrown out a box of old electronics including an original 1976 Apple 1 computer. The computer was designed and created by Apple founders Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976, when they were sold for US$666.66 (£429) each. However, due to the rarity and historical importance of the equipment, the computer sold at private auction for US$200,000 (£128,000). Workers at the recycling centre have said that they recognised the lady who donated the items, but as they do not know her name, they have been unable to track her down. They are said to be holding a cheque for US$100,000 to give to the mystery lady when she next makes an appearance. 

driving plastic recycling

This article was taken from Issue 81

We all know that recycled plastic is a great alternative to virgin plastic counterparts, but how about its use in replacing asphalt? This concept may soon be hitting Dutch streets, as Rotterdam council is currently in conversation with construction firm VolkerWessels to become the first city to replace its petroleum-based asphalt roads with ones made entirely from recycled plastics. Engineers and planners hope that the move to plastics will be more environmentally friendly, as the material lasts longer, produces fewer carbon emissions, is quicker to lay, and can cope with more extreme temperatures than the traditional alternative. Whilst wet-weather testing still needs to take place, the people behind the PlasticRoad project are hopeful that within the next three years we will see the first plastic highway.

The organisers of Denmark’s outdoor music festival Roskilde are giving new meaning to the word ‘piss-up’. At this year’s festival, revellers were encouraged to use toilets that collect urine for a new beer manufacturing project. ‘From Piss to Pilsner’ seeks to collect 25,000 litres of waste liquid from over 100,000 willing participants to fertilise barley crops that will eventually be processed into pilsner lager. It is expected that the beer will be on sale at the 2017 festival. The initiative has been backed by the Danish Agriculture and Food Council (DAFC), whose spokesperson, Marie Grabow Westergaard, stated: “We’ve got urinals right next to the stage [where] the acts will play, so we’re hoping to collect some rock star pee as well.” Surely now it’s just a matter of time before we see an Aerosmith ale or Beyoncé bitter hitting our shelves.