Two Korean artists have created a record player that plays sounds and music on pieces of plastic waste, spreading a powerful message about sustainability.
In a feat of engineering and innovation, the device, called Song From Plastic, uses technology based on Thomas Edison’s “tin foil phonograph” where sound waves are etched onto strips of tin foil and played back.
The machine was designed by Ujoo + Limheeyoung and centers around the theme of “plastic fossils” and using long-lasting plastic as a way of recording and unearthing the past.
The demonstration shows plastic renditions of recognizable songs like “Happy Birthday”, “Silent Night,” and “Ave Maria” played on a toy car, a plastic container, and more. It’s a powerful visual as the spinning waste seems ominously contrasted with the happy yet hollow sounds of the celebration songs.
Ujoo + Limheeyoung described their work stating, “The sounds of now-extinct beings emanate from a plastic fossil discovered by an intelligent lifeform from a future tens of thousands of years from now. As it captures a record in plastic of different sounds – exceedingly ordinary sounds, yet ones that offer a sense of what makes human beings special – this work reflects on the meaning held by human values.”
They continue, “If we are going to leave a record of our ‘humanity,’ shouldn’t it be something other than plastic waste?”
Watch the demonstration of “Song from Plastic” below: