NEOERBA, meaning NEW | GRASS, started its initiation in 2022-6-20. It was conceived by Kevin Chu, founder of SUGO, who was originally from Hong Kong and educated and qualified as in architect in United Kingdom who now resides permanently in Roseto degli Abruzzi in Italy with his wife and family.
The project all started when Warner Bros contacted SUGO through a Chinese Consumer Electronics conglomerate, TCL, who wish to recycle its vast inventory of electronic waste into something artistic and contribute to improving our environment.
SUGO, a multidisciplinary design and artwork laboratory, has been known to specialized in sustainable approach to all its creations, seems to suit this project perfectly.
Kevin Chu, through an instantaneous moment observing the grass field where his child was playing in Roseto, decided to utilize the abstracted digital geometry of individual blades of grass as the initiation on this installation. His idea was rather than the usual approach to a traditional standalone sculpture, NEOERBA need to be “planted” as a modular system and can be adapted into any location with the flexibility of a Viral Art Installation. He decided to collect over thousands of pieces of discarded PCB Computer Circuit Boards from TCL’s electronic waste collection inventory as their green hue and translucency allows for an amazing transmission of light and coloration similar to plantations.
Once the initial geometrical formation was decided the entire installation is hand made with an internal hollow steel structure and each circuit board are chosen in random and gradually laminated over the structure organically without predefined patterns. Photovoltaic flood lights were integrated into each structure or totem for night-time illumination in keeping with sustainability of utilizing renewable energy provided by the sun. Finally, it is finished off with a bioluminescent paint that glows in the dark through absorption of photons from both natural and artificial light source and a specially formulated photocatalytic coating, which is used by NASA space agency on its satellites, was applied onto each of the Grass Blade “Totems” which allows the entire installation to purify the atmosphere from Virus, Bacteria and Pollutants activated only with sunlight and moving air biomimicry from the process of photosynthesis. For this installation a total of 42 Totems were made as the more quantity there are, the more we can recycle, and the atmospheric purification effect becomes more pronounced.
After the initial physical form was completed, a special immersive Virtual Reality Artwork was created by Kevin Chu which allows NEOERBA to enter the metaverse where one can experience an alternative dimension and meaning to the installation. The Virtual Reality Artwork was in the context of mass production is engrained into our current generation, but we are now slowly migrating to a more sustainable mindset, and it reflects the dichotomy of past believes and the unknown conflict of future directions for humankind.
A specially programmed Artificial Intelligence system will also be included in the installation through a hidden sound system which can educate any visitors verbally on any knowledge in over ten languages in organic verbal communication interactions.
As of this writing, NEOERBA is the first of its kind in the world where it fuses sustainability, physical and metaphysical dimension simultaneously as its ideology is that PCB circuit boards, from its first invention in 1936 by Austrian Scientist Paul Eisler, were the initiation of our current computer age and our obsession with immersion is where the future is heading.
Currently we discard over fifty million tonnes of electronic waste (e-waste) globally and NEOERBA hopes to be the inclination on using more recycling as means to prevail a sense of beauty for the environment. That is why it is appropriate to term the structures “Totems” as the physical form is a gravestone of our past and the cybernetic experience correlates to the future where we are trying to use technology to escape our boundary of physicality.
Warner Bros, thorough the ownership of Discovery Channel will release a short documentary on this installation filmed entirely in areas of Abruzzo such as Roseto, Borsacchio , Gran Sasso, Giulianova between 2022-9-6 to 2022-9-10 and the timeline of the global release is on 2022 November to December at the 2022 FIFA World Cup held in Qatar.
Through the finalization of NEOERBA. TCL has also announced its global initiative of TCLGREEN where it will work tirelessly to recycle waste into many artworks for the public to be educated and experienced. Kevin Chu is immensely proud to let the world know it all started here in Roseto degli Abruzzi in Italy which is his adopted hometown.
NEOERBA final transformation will be in years to come, plants will engulf its entire form and metaphysically transform it into a new bio entity while Artificial Intelligence will have reached a point where the installation will be on par or even surpass the level of human intelligence. This is beginning of what we can create as a new being, when one can finally work in unity with Nature and Technology.