Bangor artist appears in U.K. Nokia cell phone ad showcasing potato-powered battery

Caleb Charland, a Winterport native and celebrated artist now based in Bangor, last month spent a few weeks in London, working with Nokia and Microsoft to create a highly unique cell phone ad — one that uses hundreds of potatoes and apples, connected by wires, to charge a phone.

Charland created a one-day only installation outside of a shopping center in Shepherd’s Bush neighborhood in London, which allowed passersby to charge their phone using the energy created by the potatoes and apples.

Charland’s most well-known work involves his use of potatoes, apple, lemons and other fruit, combined with raw metal and fire, to create complex long-exposure photographs of the ways in which light and electricity work at their most basic level. His work has been displayed at and is part of the collection of the Portland Museum of Art, the Center for Maine Contemporary Art and the Philadelphia Museum Art, and has been featured in publications including National Geographic, Wired, The New Yorker and Discover.

A 2013 BDN article about Charland — written by yours truly — went into greater depth about his fascination with electricity, nature and photography.

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Emily Burnham

About Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native, a UMaine graduate, a proud Bangorian and an arts and lifestyle writer for the Bangor Daily News, where she's worked since 2004. She reports on everything from local bands to local food, from media and the Internet to theater and dance. In her quest for stories, she's seen countless concerts and plays, been lobster fishing, interviewed celebrities, hung out with water buffalo and played in a ukulele orchestra, to name just a few. She's interested in everything -- especially if it happens in Maine. She welcomes any and all feedback or suggestions for stories.