Archive for February, 2012

Chris Jordan’s Midway Journey

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Early into my trash blogging career, people started to send me links to photographer Chris Jordan‘s work, which over the years I have turned over into several posts. This latest link (thanks, Chelsea!) is a talk by the artist himself, describing how he strives to help the viewer visualize incomprehensibly large numbers, and to “make global issues personal.” Check out what he has to say about his work and what a replica of Van Gogh’s Starry Night made of 50,000+ discarded cigarette lighters has to do with the Pacific Gyre. It’s a frightening tale of the consequences of plastic. As Jordan puts it, “This is the Earth’s alarm system going off…”


Zero waste crackers

Monday, February 20, 2012

My roommate, Rubina, is an amazing cook and entertainer. I love living with her for many reasons, mainly because she’s a dear friend and a good sounding board on all of life’s most important issues. We discuss practically everything, but if you were to bug our place, you would find that well over half of our conversations center around food. Every once in a while those food conversations are comprised of brainstorming sessions over what we (read: she) could make to use up things in the fridge that are about to go bad. Rubina has a gift for trash-aversion recipes, which she says comes from growing up with immigrant parents who taught her the value of resourcefulness and the horror of wastefulness. I come from culturally similar stock, yet never cease to be surprised by the creativity Ruby employs to avoid throwing anything out. Case in point: the cheese crackers that just came out of our oven.


We had a wee bit of blue cheese in the fridge and, because our friend Glenn had recently blown our minds by making a quiche out of it, we had blue cheese baked goods on the mind. Also on the verge of expiring: a bit of cheddar and some buttermilk purchased for another baking project long completed. So, Rubina whipped up a quick biscuit dough, rolled it out and with the round end of an icing tube decorating tip, cut the dough into tiny circles and baked those into jumbo oyster cracker sized bites. She made two batches of buttermilk cheese crackers: cornmeal blue cheese and whole wheat cheddar. Our house now smells amazing. Bet you wished you lived here, too.

You know who else is great at averting food waste? My friend, Virginia of Italicious. I’ve featured her Reused Recycled page here before. If you haven’t clicked through her site in while, check it out. Their family recently moved back to Italy, this time to the South, so it’s the dawn of a whole new chapter of food talk and recipes. I’m sad they’re far away, but delighted to live vicariously through the yummy posts.

Bon appetit, trashies!

Share your love of trash

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Click here or the image above to “like” on Facebook. Facebook fans get updates on new posts, links to fun trash links from other sites and the opportunity to share links, photos, promote trashy personal projects and take part in an ongoing dialog about art and politics through the lens of garbage. Pass it on!

Trashy Valentine

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Never too late for a trash-themed Valentine. LOVE this tour of the shiny eggs via New York Shitty (blog name extra apt on a post like this).

Reminds me of an afternoon I spent in the area, marveling at the digester eggs and melancholy shoreline.



NYC WasteMatch

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Check it New Yorkers, the city has a site to match commercial waste to people who could put that crap to use and sells it to them on the cheap. It’s win-win: cheap stuff for the citizen, less waste for the city to haul.

The site lists neat stats on total cost savings, tonnes of trash averted and numbers of members and exchanges. The numbers date back to 1998, which leads one to believe this little-known-service has been around for a while but is just now getting a tech refresh. Does your community have something like this?

via Brokelyn

A binman abroad

Sunday, February 5, 2012

A Londan binman follows his Indonesian counterpart on his rounds collecting waste and clearing gutters in Jakarta in this BBC News video.

Thanks for the link, Brendan.

Hypergraphia: The Cup Drawings

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11am-2pm, artist Gwyneth Leech sits inside the glass walls of the Flatiron Prow Art Space drawing on used coffee cups. The other night, my friend Phillip and I went to see the film The Artist after which he walked me to the Subway stop just in front of the Flatiron Building. It seemed perfectly appropriate to stumble onto such a whimsical project after seeing such a whimsical film.

Photo taken by Phillip on his phone. Thanks, Phillip!

The best description of this project (as well as lots of great photos and descriptions of the artist’s other work) can be found on her blog, Gwyneth’s Full Brew in the form of this conversation with a passerby as she was outside wiping finger, nose and palmprints off the windows:

A man came up to me carrying his takeout coffee (small brown cup, flat lid, wrapped in a napkin).

He asked rather belligerently, “What exactly is the point of this installation?”
I drew breath. He actually looked kind of angry.
“Well,” I said, “it is about the inventive potential of the human spirit. The artist has saved all her used paper coffee cups for years and she has drawn and painted on each one by hand. There must be almost 800 cups hanging in there. And each one is a different.”
“Oh!” He said, and stalked off, apparently satisfied.
The website for the art space says the artist would be sitting inside the prow through December 31, so I’m not sure if the live drawing element of the installation is still in progress or if this is the finished product. I kind of like not knowing. The stack of used cups not yet decorated beside a chair and a bunch of colored markers is a quiet reminder of the endless supply of disposable canvas we generate in this city, this country, this world…

Got a light?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Over the course of 10 months, Brooklyn-based artist Willis Elkins collected nearly 2000 cigarette lighters from the shorelines of New York City, documented, photographed and mapped them.


Elkins, who describes himself as being “very interested in all facets of consumer culture, product disposability and the waste infrastructure,” has a number of other interesting projects on his site LESS logs. Less stands for Locate Explore Synthetic Sites.

The lighter project in particular reminds me of Norwegian artist Jon Gunderson‘s contribution to the 2008 “Through the Looking Glass: From Found Object to Trash Art” show curated by Samir M’kadmi (and opened with a keynote by yours truly, still one of the coolest opportunities every brought on by everydaytrash). Gunderson presented a series of found briefcases each filled neatly with objects found on walks through Oslo. He had a case filled with pacifiers, one with cigarette lighters and another filled entirely with black shoe soles.

Oslo art show

Somehow organizing these everyday objects in cases and putting those cases on a row of podiums elevated their status from trash to art with social commentary. Elkins’ projects do the same. Check them out!

Semi-related post: Introspective trash.

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