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Tech by VICE

Two Artists Create An Artificial Mineral From Old Technology

Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen mine precious metals from old tech and turn them into mineral form.

by Kevin Holmes
May 15 2014, 1:00pm

Many precious metals are extracted from the earth and used to make the devices and computers that surround us—but what if you could take those valuable elements back from technology and turn them into minerals? That's the concept behind Revital Cohen and Tuur Van Balen's artwork H / AlCuTaAu.

The London-based artists, who explore the "tensions between biology and technology," made an artificial mineral through use of the precious metals and stones that comprise old computers, electric drills, cellphones, and other machinery they recovered from a bankrupt factory.

Their manmade mineral (see below) consists of aluminum (Al), copper (Cu), gold (Au), tantalum (Ta) (along with some added whetstone) and they say it "speaks of the provenance of technological artifacts and the value of labor." 

There's no indication from their website as to the exact methods they used to reclaim and reform the materials, but it was no doubt a painstaking and digilent effort. And it's an imaginative way to examine and ponder the complex, intertwining relationship between technology and the natural world from which its components derive.

Check out the tech they sourced and the resulting mineral below.

via Next Nature

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