Making art from computer waste

Jack Scott, an IT Desktop Consultant for Emory’s Libraries and Information Technology(LITS),  has a unique skill for creating art using old computer parts.  While some people see piles of dusty junk, Jack sees an opportunity to create something interesting.

As a high school student, Jack had interests in construction, then graduated from Emory with a degree in art history/visual arts. And from there what do you do with an art degree? “You go into IT,” chuckles Jack. Happily, his interests in construction, visual arts, and IT become fully realized through his art.

All of the items in Jack’s cubical art gallery are made from computer parts that have been languishing in surplus, waiting for their time to be recycled or demolished. Jack enjoys creating balls of string, not from actual string, but from old computer and Ethernet wiring. He noticed that if you weave together coated computer wire, it yields a satisfying result.

Everything in his gallery is made from damaged or out-of-warranty devices. Jack took an iMac with a broken screen and made a fully functional art piece. It only requires Jack to plug it into an external monitor to use. According to Jack, “It’s still a great computer.”

One item on display is a push-pin laptop that Jack created from an empty laptop casing. This creation became  part of the It’s in the Cards exhibition for recycling old card catalog cards as works of art. Another interesting art form is The Cyclops, made from discarded packing material.

One of the serendipitous aspects of Jack’s career in IT is that he also provides support for the Carlos Museum, which further feeds his love for visual arts. “I fully support the work that they do and now I get to support them from an IT point of view,” says Jack.

Next time you are on the second-floor staff area at Woodruff, drop by Jack’s gallery. Admission is free.