Posts Tagged ‘Mac Premo’

Introspective Trash

Friday, May 27, 2011

William Rathje at the University of Arizona founded the sociological discipline of garbology, which Wikipedia defines as follows:

[T]he study of (mostly modern) refuse and trash. As an academic discipline it was pioneered at the University of Arizona and long directed by William Rathje. The project started in 1973, originating from an idea of two students for a class project.It is a major source of information on the nature and changing patterns in modern refuse, and thereby, human society.

Or, as a New York Times headline on the topic put it: We Are What We Throw Away.

Recently, I’ve come across three examples (which, by the laws of lazy journalism = a trend) of personal studies in garbology.

Mac Premo‘s The Dumpster Project, covered here before, documents all the things the artist had stockpiled in his old studio before losing that space. Premo is now cataloging the items, some intensely personal (an early pair of his daughter’s shoes, the invitation to an old girlfriend’s party to christen her wheelchair), some just neat things he collected over the years (Persian smokes pictured here). Premo hopes to procure a dumpster and display all the documented stuff in said dumpster. The piece will either tour as an art exhibit or be left out for collection. Or both.

Mac Premo's The Dumpster Project

Writer Chappell Ellison is throwing away her stuff in an effort to live with less. Unconsumption covered her project, which consists of a blog where she posts photos of things she is throwing away, sometimes alongside their stories. The first person to comment on each item gets to keep it.

Chappell Ellison's Everything Must Go project

Writer Porochista Khakpour is selling relics of her past and each piece comes with a story on a tumblelog called One Woman’s Trash. “Trying to be people I was not was a theme of my 20s,” begins a post about a silk romper. The microblog is a for-profit venture presented as more stoop sale than art project, but it’s a creative exercise in garbology nonetheless.

Porochista Khakpour's One Woman's Trash

I once threw away all my journals. It was a rash decision I frequently question today. Somehow reading entries on these three sites picks at that scab. What I love about all of these efforts is the thought put into our collecting of things, the stories each item acquires — making it harder and harder to part with over time — and the discipline of each artist to actually get rid of it.

Decorative Dumpster Day #2: Mac Premo’s Dumpster Project

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Remember the dumpster video I shared a couple weeks back? (Thanks, Rebecca for sending this my way).

Well, I was so intrigued by The Dumpster Project that I looked the artist and asked for an interview. It turns out his studio is just around the corner from global headquarters in Brooklyn. More to come from that conversation (I am en route to Peru today and can’t access my notes).

In the meantime, track The Dumpster Project online. Displaced from his studio, artist Mac Premo decided to catalog and meticulously curate an autobiographical dumpster encompassing the myriad sentimental objects he has collected over his lifetime as a collage artist, animator, commercial director, carpenter, father and all-around pack rat.

Examples of objects to be dumpstered include:

One of his daughter Frieda's first shoes

And a bandage from the time he tore off a fingernail.

Premo plans to construct his dumpster for optimal public viewing and is currently documenting each piece to go in it on the blog. The piece will either tour the country or be left out for trash collection. Regardless of what the future holds, we LOVE this project at and will be tracking its progress regularly. To see Premo’s autobiographical collection of objects, New Yorkers can stop by during the annual Atlantic Avenue Art Walk, June 4 and 5.

Happy Decorative Dumpster Day, trashies!

%d bloggers like this: