CD Tree


Using art as a means to inform Young Modern Performers




Cake base


©Karl-Heinz Laube / pixelio


1st Step – Thinking about a topic and artwork 

First of all, of course, you have to decide on which topic you want to address with a piece of art. We have chosen to address IT consumption with a CD tree filled with electronic waste, like old cell phones, smart phones, PCs, etc. But that doesn’t have to be your topic as well. Other topics of development education can also be addressed in a creative manner. The idea is to make use of a piece of art to attract the attention of your target group which is not attracted by modes commonly used in development education. It works as an eye-catcher, motivating people to have a closer look at the topic being dealt with.
After brainstorming on this you should briefly write down your ideas and collect your thoughts on a possible artwork.


2nd Step – Finding an artist

Contact an artist and discuss your ideas with him or her. Maybe you know an artist living and working in your city. If not, you can also search the internet or contact art schools.

The process might need some time but it will be fruitful. Surely artists can also contribute with their own ideas to a creative realization of your topic.
Finally you have to negotiate with the artist for his or her work. (see ideas for small budget above).

In our case, together with the artist we developed the idea to create a CD tree as a sculpture filled with electronic waste, like thrown away PCs, smartphones, etc.


 Additionally, the glass surrounding the tree contained information on the topic of global production of electronics and computers, violation of labor standards and environmental damage during production, and disposal of IT around the globe.


3rd Step – Providing further information to take away

The information you can transmit via an artwork is normally limited. Therefore, you might think about providing deeper information on your topic to take away.

If you decide to provide some information to take away, you have to think about which medium to use. In our case we decided to use CDs because we thought our  tech-savvy target group might be attracted more by this medium than by a simple paper folder. The CDs were hanging like 'fruits' from the tree that was our sculpture, to be picked down and taken away.


 According to the topic you want to address, you can think about other gadgets as giveaways.

It might be helpful to do some research on the topic for your giveaways. In our case, we collected practical information about different aspects of production and consumption of IT, starting from working conditions and ecological hazards in the collection of raw materials and then production, up to recycling. Additionally, we provided links for further information and research on the internet.

This information should be put together and edited according to the format chosen.

 The facts should be edited in a way that appeals to YMPs:

 - short informatio
- neatly arranged
- visually appealing
- messages should be positive and not authoritarian
- state the source of your information




To address YMPs properly, it can be useful to think about which information is linked to their everyday life. This kind of information might make it easier for them to identify with the topic and perceive the link between development topics and their personal lifestyles. Approaching the topic in a manner that is adapted to our target group can increase the success of our actions.

The information we have chosen for our CD was about how one can consume IT in a more sustainable way. For example, it names mobiles and smart phones which are produced under certain environmental and social criteria, or contains places where to dispose or recycle old cell phones.


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