I’m headed off to Uganda tomorrow to meet the demands of the day job, but Kimberly will be popping up with a post or two in the coming week, so stay tuned. Same great garblogging, slightly different voice.
Archive for February, 2008
…And Jennifer 8. bitch-slaps back! Check out this City Room post on D.C.’s anti-snacking campaign. I love all the comments, it makes me feel slightly less insane for my incessant Subway-defending. I can’t stand it when people compare NYC’s system to smaller, lamer systems that skip over poor neighborhoods and don’t run all night. So what if we have rats, it makes waiting for the train an adventure!
After getting some furniture mailed to my apartment from family in the Midwest, I found myself last week with an apartment full of boxes and bubble wrap. I put the stuff on freecycle and craigslist and by that evening, the bubble wrap was collected by one person and the boxes by another. Yay for saving and reusing and the Internet!
Kimberly sent me this link yesterday to trash art on the New York Times Web site. Check out artist Chris Jordan’s work. He photographs massive and painstakingly organized quantities of stuff, like plastic cups, cell phones, Barbies or folder prison uniforms. At a glance the pictures look like abstract art, zooming in, they make a painful statement about consumption, like this image of 60,000 plastic bags.
Photo via http://www.chrisjordan.com
The Times reports on the growing cohort of mothers who care about the future of the planet for their children. While I’m not sure this sentiment is new, the terms they use and blogs they follow certainly are. Happy Reading!
This week in trash news:
- Nike releases a shoe made from trash;
- Garbage Warrior gets a mediocre review;
- Kampala gears up to make energy from city trash; and
- New York’s City Council makes recycling old computers, printers and gadgets mandatory.
Trashy V day! If you’re in New York and looking for a creative way to spend the evening, check out this doc screening tonight at 8p.m. at MoMA.
“Garbage Warrior. 2006. Great Britain. Directed by Oliver Hodge. Michael Reynolds is a maverick architect with a crew of renegade house builders who practice “biotecture” by using beer cans, car tires, and other detritus to build experimental living structures, particularly in areas devastated by hurricanes and tsunamis. The story covers over three years of their fight to introduce radical new ways of living in the U.S., India, and Mexico. 85 min.”
Last month, I attended a lecture on the history of sanitation in New York City given by Dr. Robin Nagle, a professor of anthropology at NYU co-teaching a class on making a museum AND holder of the supercool title “Anthropologist in Residence” for New York City’s Department of Sanitation. Today, Professor Nagle has been kind enough to answer some follow-up questions for the very exciting revivial of Trashtastic Tuesdays, everyone’s favorite irregular weekly blog feature!
everydaytrash: As an anthropologist, what drew you to the subject of trash?
Nagle: I was originally drawn to the subject of trash through one central question that continues to inspire and confound me. How is it that we are content to “throw” “away” our garbage with little or no regard for what happens to it next? Subsidiary questions grow from that. Just what does happen next? Who picks it up? What’s it like to pick it up? Where does it go? How does it get there? Then what happens?
Luckily for me, each answer opens a new bundle of fascinating questions.
everydaytrash: How does one become the anthropologist-in-residence for the city’s sanitation department and what does that job entail?
Nagle: One bombs as a sanitation worker but wants to maintain a title within the DSNY, so one proposes “anthropologist-in-residence” to enable one to draw on one’s training, one’s experience within the DSNY, and one’s larger goals within the context of the Department.
The job entails good old-fashioned fieldwork — taking part in parade clean-ups, snow storm responses, hanging with people on their rounds, interviewing current and retired employees. It also entails putting together the nuts and bolts that will one day be the DSNY Museum. And it entails writing about the DSNY — its work, its mission its history.
everydaytrash: I visited the student exhibit, Loaded Out: Making a Museum. In your ideal world, what would a full-fledged sanitation museum look like?
Nagle: A full-fledged DSNY Museum will have permanent and revolving exhibitions that reveal the fascinating history of sanitation and public health in the context of urban America and especially in the context of New York City. At least one exhibit will always focus on some aspect of the work involved in keeping New York alive by keeping the city’s streets clean. And the DSNY Museum will house the Wall of Honor, which lists all employees who have been killed in the line of duty since the Department came into being in 1881.
The museum will have educational initiatives that will appeal to school children, scholars, and everyone in between. It will include historic and contemporary equipment, trucks, carts, sweepers, mechanical brooms, flushers, wreckers, uniforms, tools. There will archives in digital and hardcopy form that will hold all sanitation-related material we can collect from within New York City, and that will point to related resources in other places.
The museum space itself, which will be vibrant, colorful, and welcoming, will be used for community and DSNY-related events, including meetings of the DSNY benevolent societies and DSNY pipe-and-drum band rehearsals.
Phew! It’s a big dream. But you gotta start somewhere.
Photos ripped from the Slate.com and DSNY Web sites.
This just in, the Norwegian Association of Art Societies is celebrating their 30th anniversary with a trashtastic expo of art made from garbage and found objects. “Recycling the Looking Glass” will travel across Norway this April, opening in Oslo, and will include a group show of international artists, a seminar of trash art and environmentalism via diverse media on the day the show opens and a print publication with contributions from seminar panelists.
Here’s a PDF of the press release in English. I’ve been invited to participate in the seminar and contribute to the publication, the greatest honor yet for everydaytrash.com! Look out Oslo, here I come.
This week, fellow garblogger, The Visible Trash Society salutes Jo Hanson. San Fran’s first sanitation artist in residence. Check out the post and mini-doc dug up from the Internet on the topic.
This has truly been a great week for everydaytrash to learn of co-conspirators. May I direct your attention to the new photoblog, The Art of Talking Trash—“Dedicated to showcasing the most progressive and inspiring garbage in NYC and beyond.” Rock on.
(photo lifted from the site)
You may have noticed a first this week: an everydaytrash post written by someone else. That someone else is tipster cum contributor Kimberly. Stay tuned for more insightful reporting from the wonderful world of trash, perhaps now with a little more regularity.