Maarten Vanden Eynde

Copper Country

Copper circuit boards, ferric chloride, varnish, 21 x 21 cm.
Framed 30 x 30 cm
(In several private collections, Belgium)

Copper is the first metal that was smelted from its ore and the first metal to be cast into a shape using a mould. The majority of mined and recycled copper is currently used in electronic devices because of its conductivity. It is the most present metal in telephones and computers, accounting for more weight than all the other metals combined.

Copper Country is a series of three topographic drawings from the largest copper mines in the world, Bingham Canyon, Chuquicamata and El Morro. The drawings are made on a printed circuit board (PCB) using the etching technique to make copper circuits with ferric chloride (FeCl₃) for electronic appliances. The chemical process is interrupted and frozen with varnish, creating an unpredictable variation of the ‘natural’ background in contrast with the graphic human intervention of open pit mineral mining.