E-waste is one of the fastest-growing waste streams, and in an effort to raise awareness around this ever-growing problem, photographer and artist Benjamin Von Wong has created a series of photographs made from 4,100 pounds of e-waste, the approximate amount of e-waste an American may use over their lifetime.
Von Wong, who is always looking for interesting ways to talk about “boring problems,” was inspired to create this photography project following a conversation he had with Dell at SXSW in 2017, when he learned that the company has the world’s largest global recycling program and a free e-waste recycling program that’s offered in nearly 80 different countries.
“After SXSW, I reached out to Dell about my idea, asking them to grant me access to some of their e-waste, and the rest is history,” says Von Wong. “Dell and Wistron GreenTech, one of their recycling partners, provided me and my team with all of the material needed for the project and access to a room to create the project in.”
For the project, Von Wong worked with about 50 volunteers to sort through e-waste, build structures from the e-waste and do the hair, makeup and bodypaint for the model featured in the photographs. The project took 10 days to complete and only four hours to clean up. All the material used in the project was returned to Dell and Wistron GreenTech to be properly recycled.
Von Wong is always looking for different partners to work with to encourage people to do the right thing. Before this e-waste project, he created a series about plastic pollution, using 10,000 plastic bottles borrowed from Tomra to raise awareness about the world’s plastic problem.
“I think the [plastic pollution] project gave Dell the confidence to take a risk in me because that project helped draw awareness about a waste issue and the project with them would do the same thing,” says Von Wong. “Through these projects, I am hoping to draw enough awareness for corporations to start being more responsible. Corporate social responsibility generally doesn’t get a lot of press due to not having a marketing budget or an interesting angle, but I think I can help bridge that gap through my art.”
The project may be over, but Von Wong’s mission to reduce e-waste isn’t. He is giving away 1,000 signed postcards and three signed prints to those who are willing to recycle their e-waste. For more information, click here.