“Force Broken Heart” by student Jennifer Kuan '17 was the winning sculpture in a competition that evolved through a collaboration between OIT and the Visual Arts Department to find a good use for old computer parts

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Pacific Visual Arts and OIT Collaborate on an Artistic Approach to Recycling

Talented students transform recycled computer parts into creative sculpture.
Nov 15, 2013

In what is quickly becoming an annual tradition, Visual Arts students in visiting professor Ilena Finocchi-Wilson's sculpture class converted a pile of computer parts from the Office of Information Technology's Recycle Bin into a visual lesson in physics. The challenge: Create a work of art that demonstrates one or more of the five physical forces: Compression, Tension, Bending, Torque and Sheer. 

This is the second year professor Finocchi-Wilson's class collaborated with OIT for a creative approach to recycling old computers. OIT supplied the recycled materials and contributed to the cost of adhesives and supplies. The outcome was seven creative sculptures, including an apple, a tornado and a brain.  

"OIT has provided great support and has been a valuable collaborator with the sculpture class," said Finocchi-Wilson. "While students have such a connection to technology, this project challenges them to look at the materials very differently. Students learned to build structurally sound relief sculpture that reflects visual physical forces using recycled components."  

"Force Broken Heart," the winning sculpture as chosen by the OIT staff, was created by Jennifer Kuan '17, a freshman majoring in psychology.  She used fiber optic cables, computer cables, keyboard membranes and computer keys to produce the 18-inch techno-heart.

Rotten Apple sculpture

Trash to Treasure

"Good art challenges us to look at things differently. Imagination, vision, problem solving skills, and work ethic are the tools required to successfully complete a project of this scope. Each class over the past two years has exhibited impressive results," said visual arts visiting professor Ilena Finocchi-Wilson. With his "Rotten Apple," Dante Pasquini demonstrates sheer force, while poking some fun at Apple's Logo. Pasquini used darker keys to provide shadowing and give the piece depth.

"The staff loved the work of the students so much that we asked if we could keep them all this year," says OIT project manager Ron Harvey.  "Three of the pieces from last year are on permanent display in our lobby areas, and it's been fun to see the staff's reaction to the various pieces from this year's project. "

You can view the seven sculptures now on permanent display at the Office of Information Technology main offices at 1776 March Lane.

Read about last year's competition>>