trash

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Art

A Sculptural Cloud of Plastic Bottles Illustrates One Hour of Trash in NYC

July 10, 2014

Johnny Waldman

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All photos by Chuck Choi courtesy Studio KCA

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If you visited Governor’s Island in New York last summer you most certainly saw the billowing, cloud-like structure that sits in the middle of the lawn. And if you’re anything like my kids you probably dashed up to it to see exactly what thing was. But it’s not until you get up close that you realize it’s made from many, many plastic bottles stringed together. “53,780 used plastic bottles,” says designer Jason Klimoski, “the number thrown away in NYC in just 1 hour.” Klimoski and his team at STUDIO KCA collected the bottles – a combination of milk jugs and water bottles – and lashed them together to create “Head in the Clouds,” a pavilion people can walk into, sit inside, and contemplate just how much plastic is thrown away every day.

The structure, however, was temporary and the team is now looking for its next home. If you’re interested in having this in your back yard get in touch with the designers.

 

 



Art

Historical Fine Oil Portraits on Crumpled Trash by Kim Alsbrooks

June 9, 2014

Christopher Jobson

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Philadelphia artist Kim Alsbrooks recreates historical oil portraits on flattened beers cans and fast food containers. Titled “My White Trash Family” the series was conceived while Alsbrook was living in the south and found herself grappling with prevailing ideas of class. She shares via a statement about the project:

The White Trash Series was developed while living in the South out of frustration with some of the prevailing ideologies, in particular, class distinction. This ideology seems to be based on a combination of myth, biased history and a bizarre sentimentality about old wars and social structures. With the juxtaposition of the portraits from museums, once painted on ivory, now on flattened trash like beer cans and fast food containers, the artist sets out to even the playing field, challenging the perception of the social elite in today’s society.

Filmmaker Jesse Brass recently caught up with Alsbrook to interview her for his Making Art series. Watch it above.

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Documentary Music

Landfill Harmonic: An Upcoming Documentary About the ‘Recycled Orchestra’ in Cateura, Paraguay

April 11, 2013

Christopher Jobson

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Cateura, Paraguay is a small city that has grown atop a massive dump. It is regarded as one of the poorest slums in Latin America, a village where people live among a sea of garbage. Incredibly, the landfill itself is the primary form of subsistence for many residents, who pick through waste for items that can be used or sold. Prospects for most of the children born in Cateura is bleak as gangs and drugs await many of them. But then one day, something amazing happened.

A garbage picker named Nicolás Gómez (known as “Cola”) found a piece of trash that resembled a violin and brought it to musician Favio Chávez. Using other objects collected from the dump, the pair constructed a functional violin in a place where a real violin is worth more a house. Using items gleaned completely from the dump, the pair then built a cello, a flute, a drum, and suddenly had a wild idea: could a children’s orchestra be born in one of the most depressed areas in the world? As you can guess, the answer was yes.

Now a group of filmmakers, producers, and photographers are trying to tell the story of the orchestra through a documentary titled Landfill Harmonic. The orchestra seems poised to offer many of the children opportunities outside of the slum— they are already planning a multi-city tour around the U.S. The movie is currently being funded on Kickstarter and just passed the halfway mark today. Watch the video above and you can learn more over on their Facebook. Backed!

 

 



Art Documentary

An Austin Man Builds a Cathedral of Junk

September 20, 2012

Christopher Jobson

This is a fascinating and touching glimpse into the ongoing art installation of Austin, Texas resident Vince Hannemann (aka the Junk King) who since 1989 has been collecting thousands of discarded objects and turning them into a giant cathedral of junk. In 2010 the city closed the structure claiming it was unsafe and demanded Hannemann obtain proper building permits for his “auxiliary structure”. He was then forced to remove nearly 60 tons of materials before finally obtaining the approval from an engineer. Over seven months hundreds of volunteers stopped by to lend a hand and the cathedral has begun expanding once again. Shot and edited by Evan Burns. Last photo by Blake Gordon. (via vimeo)

 

 



Photography

Glass Beach

August 22, 2011

Christopher Jobson

File this under I had no idea this existed. During the early 20th century residents of Fort Bragg, California chose to dispose of their waste by hurling it off the cliffs above a beach. No object was too toxic or too large as household appliances, automobiles, and all matter of trash were tossed into the crashing waves below, eventually earning it the name The Dumps. In 1967 the North Coast Water Quality Board closed the area completely and initiated a series of cleanups to slowly reverse decades of pollution and environmental damage. But there was one thing too costly (or perhaps impossible) to tackle: the millions of tiny glass shards churning in the surf. Over time the unrelenting ocean waves have, in a sense, cleansed the beach, turning the sand into a sparkling, multicolored bed of smooth glass stones now known as Glass Beach. The beach is now an unofficial tourist attraction and the California State Park System has gone so far as purchasing the property and incorporating it into surrounding MacKerricher State Park. (images courtesy digggs, matthew high, meganpru, lee rentz and linked to sources. via kuriositas)

 

 



Art

Thrown to the Wind

March 29, 2011

Christopher Jobson

Thrown to the Wind is a 36-foot tall (11-meter) tornado of plastic garbage by Wang Zhiyuan who lives and works in Beijing. More here and here.

 

 

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