Studio Arts students turn trash into treasure in new Thode Makerspace
McMaster students are turning used computer hardware into works of art and learning about electronics in the process.
Students in Chris Myhr’s Studio Art Media Installation and Performance course were introduced to electronics and do-it-yourself culture during a recent workshop led by Montreal-based artist Peter Flemming, which was held in the newly launched Thode Makerspace.*
During the workshop, students transformed old electronics and computing hardware, much of which was donated by McMaster University Library, to create a variety of art objects and to learn about ‘upcycling,’ the creative reuse of materials to create something new.
“We received screens, old computers, and laptops. We turned these into works of art and gave them a second life,” says Myhr, an associate professor in McMaster’s Department of Communications Studies and Multimedia, who adds that one of the goals of the course is to demystify technology for his students so it can be repurposed into art.
Myhr says the new Makerspace provides a flexible workspace where students can spread out and work with technology. “Without this space, the workshop wouldn’t have happened,” he says.
*The Thode Makerspace is a partnership between McMaster University Library and the Faculty of Engineering. The Makerspace, located in the lower level Thode Library, is a new experiential learning space on campus where students from all Faculties can create, collaborate, and experiment with a range of technologies.