The unusual piece of folk art is the work of Joe Rush, a sculptor who told the BBC that he had been commissioned by musicMagpie, a British retailer that sells secondhand electronics. Its goal is to call to attention to the environmental problems caused by electronic waste.
“We have this looking at them, and hopefully we’re going to prick their conscience and make them realize they’re all together in this waste business,” Rush said. “The key message is talk to each other, and let’s sort this mess out.”
Made from old scrap metal, keyboards, telephones, circuit boards, iPads, computer monitors and other unwanted items, the sculpture appeared this week and is still being completed, according to CornwallLive. Rush says that it highlights the fact that more electronic devices need to be made in a way that allows them to be reused or recycled
Electronic waste often contains dangerous chemicals that can become environmental hazards when incinerated or dumped in a landfill. The United Nations and International Telecommunication Union estimate that 53.6 million metric tons of e-waste were produced in 2019, an all-time high.
“E-waste poses a huge threat to the environment — and developed nations are among the worst offenders for producing it,” musicMagpie said in a statement. “With the G-7 summit taking place in Cornwall, we decided to create a sculpture to send a message.”
Four of the G-7 nations — the United States, Japan, Germany and Britain — rank as the top producers of electronic waste, the company said.