From the current exhibition

Text by: Sophie Jüterbock

Is this supposed to be art or can I throw it away? We are happy to just throw things away when we don’t seem to have much use for them anymore. Especially technology changes so fast that we often leave the old gadget for the latest product. Thus old mobile phones, cameras or PCs are abandoned to gather dust in the shelves. Some people even make the step to dispose of their old gadgets – but more often than not they don’t do it properly. Electronics have to be disposed of separately, but since most people don’t follow this guideline 20 tonnes of gold are thrown away every year. But of course there is a different way: MUHARREM BATMAN has a passion for disused electronics and a very unique way of recycling.

BATMAN turns electronic scrap into modern art. The core of his idea is probably familiar to all of us. He wanted to buy some nice decoration, something arty. But no matter where he was looking, he just didn’t fall in love. “If there’s nothing out there I like, I simply have to make it myself.”, so his thinking. Technology and electronics have always been his passion and have thus become his inspiration. BATMAN crafts his sculptures out of many different pieces, like conductor boards, transistors, cords and wires.

BATMAN likes to tinker with electronics. By opening an electronics shop he has really turned his hobby into his job. On the side he is creating his unique pieces of art, but it’s more than just a past time. He likes to call it “Art with Computer”. His first project was a harddrive screwed onto a medical headpiece used for brain surgery. BATMAN, as “doctor” for electronics, found the idea amusing that instead of a human brain the brain of a computer should be examined. .

“I leave all the delicate, small work to my sister Ayse and my assistant Judith. I’m just not patient enough for it.“, he explains. Each piece of art is thus the result of a collaborative effort. At first his sister, a trained florist, was not very keen on “scrap art”. But he convinced her to try and supplied her with materials. The enthusiastic reactions to her first work encouraged her and made her see the unusual decoration in a new light.

But BATMAN is not only concerned with art. He is also trying to reach many different people and educate them concerning waste, recycling and environment. He cautions for example against the use of so called fluorescent light bulbs. He explains that the mercury inside the bulbs poses a health risk should they break at some point. Moreover correct disposal costs so much that the cheap production cannot even make up for it. “It’s only our health that is being toyed with here.”, BATMAN concludes.

„With art as medium I have the possibility of reaching posher people as well. If I were to hold a speech next to a pile of rubbish no one would even think about listening. But if I turn this rubbish into art, I will have their attention.“ His next ambition is to either attend or organize a little fashion display with his latest „electronics collection“. Still, BATMAN’s mission is not only targeting posh people, but little ones as well. His shop is always open to receive little groups from kindergartens or elementary schools. To the children’s amusement and education he presents all sorts of electronics of our near and far past – anything from record player to Polaroid camera. This also conveys to them that the latest iPhone might not always be the only choice when the old mobile is still working. And if something new replaces the old it is important not to forget the value of the old.

To make sure your electronic scrap is disposed of correctly, you can bring it to MUHARREM BATMAN’s shop. But maybe you want to reconsider and see things as resource, as BATMAN calls it, rather than waste. If you have come to the conclusion “actually, I’d like to keep that…”, BATMAN would be happy to repair it for you - that is his main job after all. Do drop by!

Muharrem Batman
Hermannstraße 211
12049 Berlin

Tel.: 0049 30 695 19 101

... pushed by BANJO & ELFE.

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