Acer’s helping the planet with digital art by Andy Thomas

Acer has got a new computer: fully post-consumer recyclable plastic (PCR) integration into the laptop device.  It’s purposeful, sustainable design saves around 21% in CO2 emissions and is made to be easily repaired, upgraded and recycled.   

It’s all a part of their new effort to be more green, after they released a report, the Acer Plastic Pandemic Report – which reveals over half the adult population (55%) are unaware of the severity of the plastic pandemic that we are facing and nearly 6 in 10 (58%) people do not understand the difference between virgin plastics and recycled plastics.

The shocking reality is over 3.4 million tonnes of plastics are used in Australia every year, with less than 10% being recycled or reprocessed for re-use. The impact that plastic waste has on our environment is devastating – most ends up in landfill or our oceans, contributing to climate change, contaminating our soil, and negatively affecting our natural landscapes and wildlife. 

We spoke to digital artist Andy Thomas about some work he’s created using the new tech…

You recently collaborated with Acer on the release of their new ‘Green PC’ the Aspire Vero, tell us
more about the collaboration?

The collaboration between myself and Acer was a really great fit. I have always been interested in
nature and recreating nature with my computers and 3D software. There was a real serendipity with
this project on multiple levels which was super satisfying and fun. I had a blast creating this work
from start to finish.

What inspired the LIFECYCLES series?

The inspiration for the LIFECYCLES series came from the recognition of the harm that plastic waste is
causing to the natural environment. By highlighting several iconic Australian locations and combining
the photography with 3D generated images of plastic waste, we were able to create a beautiful yet
disturbing series of images. The animation piece was focused on the concept of life cycles – birth,
death and rebirth, where all life begins to suffer from entropy, to a point where its growth declines
and deteriorates. What is left is a reassortment of particles and elements which seed the foundation
for new life to surface.

If there is one takeaway from the series for viewers – what would it be?

The takeaway for viewers of the series is to take plastic waste pollution seriously and to consider the
devastating effects it has on the natural environment. Moreover, I hope viewers and consumers will
think green when buying products, as every little decision each of us makes creates a difference to
the future of our beautiful planet.

How did you create the artwork and what was the process behind it?

Still image series: The photos were licensed from various photographers, I then used Photoshop and
Houdini, a 3D software, to merge images of plastic waste in a montage style.

Animation piece: The Blue Mountains was chosen for this piece. Using the iconic photo of the Three
Sisters as a backdrop, I made a 3D scene and populated it with plants and rubbish. Thereafter, I used
Houdini’s animation tools to draw the plants and twist rubbish around them, creating a scene that
transitions from bright and beautiful, to dark red and disturbing. Moreover, the music score by GMJ
was used to exaggerate the transition from birth, death, and rebirth, and to underscore the
importance of recycling plastic waste to save our environment.

What are your favourite features of the new Aspire Vero device?

I love that the Aspire Vero is made from recycled plastics, but also that it’s lightweight and easy to
carry. This element is greatly beneficial to me as I like to go out into nature and sketch out my ideas.

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