Data + Design Project

Peter McFarlane: Reduce, Reuse and Make Metal Art

Tuesday 01.29.2013 , Posted by
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Peter McFarlane lives in an artistic world of possibilities, one which challenges him to remix the objects of life and create captivating, re-contextualized forms. After his first job working on a factory assembly line taught him a deep suspicion of technology, much of his work has revolved around examining the affect of technology and consumption on our culture. The metal work we bring you here sees chainsaws reworked into fanciful birds and whales, while spoons become bird nests and saw blades become farming implements.

“Everything I encounter presents possibilities for my art,” says McFarlane. “Everything has potential. Any and all objects can be used to create something, to make and re-make what I find in the world. The process requires searching for the materials that will commit me to original work, and intimately connect me to a self-engendered vision. The objects or images I contend with are not necessarily the art, but they always function as the language to serve the idea. There is a recognition or re-cognition of the materials to assist in generating a versatile, multi-layered narrative. My intention is to put things together in a way that moves the senses, and creates vivid, compelling, infectious imagery. Often I count on confusing cultural assumptions and re-contextualizing consumer objects to give them new meaning.”

Much of McFarlane’s material comes from dumpster diving, an activity which helps to keep him humble: “I have found there’s nothing like garbage picking to ward off the glorification of middle class ideals.” We like that. Considering there’s far more than scrap metal floating around, he’s also worked with sculpting and collaging discarded circuit boards, as well as drawing aspects of industrial society. You can see more of his fantastic work at petermcfarlane.com.

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Via etoday

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Benjamin Starr

Written by Benjamin Starr



Known in some circles as the most amazing man in the universe, he once saved an entire family of muskrats from a sinking, fire engulfed steamboat while recovering from two broken arms relating to a botched no-chute wingsuit landing in North Korea. When not impressing people with his humbling humility, he can be found freelance writing, finding shiny objects on the internet, enjoying the company of much-appreciated friends and living out his nomadic nature. He is Managing Editor of Visual News. Follow his movements on Twitter:

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