Making art from trash is an interesting experience, it incorporates creativity and recycling to generate something amazing. For my upcycle project, I used a combination of the minimalist aesthetic, but instead of leaving it devoid of emotion, as minimalism usually is, I tried to introduce some connection to my life to it. I chose to do this because I feel that while the minimalist aesthetic is beautiful, I want people to be able to relate to my artwork and understand how I feel when they see it.
For my project, I decided to use a keyboard I found in the trash because in this time of quarantine and online classes, I spend much of my time in front of a keyboard. Sometimes I feel as though my entire life is melting into the keyboard. I tried to encompass this emotion in my artwork by physically showing the keyboard melting. I also included certain keys in odd orientations to represent things that I see in my everyday life during this unprecedented time.
One of the most important components of the minimalist aesthetic is the use of open space. I created this illusion by removing a significant portion of the keyboard while leaving the underlying clear circuit. This gives a break from the dark colors of the keyboard and showcases the internal workings of the device. It took quite some time to decide how much of the open space should be filled to make the piece look complete.
Another important feature of the minimalist aesthetic is incorporating simple colors like black and white. I tried not to stray too far from this design by keeping the keyboard its natural color of black and using simple hues in my open space. This task was much easier because the internal circuit board of the computer was actually clear with white contacts.
I also incorporated three dimensional features in my design by having some of the buttons at different levels than others. This creates the illusion of depth within the artwork, which is a very prevalent feature in traditional minimalist style. This design feature originated from early minimalist artists combining their sculpture and painting skills into one piece.
All of these design components contribute to an artistic piece that is primarily minimalistic but with the added benefit of emotion. I didn’t want to produce something that conforms to one style only because usually the artwork ends up being very similar between different artists even though they are working with the same design features. I hope my design evokes feeling in the viewer, and that in some way the viewer can relate to my emotions.