Author Archive

Plastic Interactions

Plastic interactions for today:

toothbrush-9-11 minutes

metrocard-1-2minutes

cell phone–2 hours

toddy container for brewing coffee at work- 20 minutes

plastic top for coffee- 2 hours

computer–6 hours

ball point pen- 30 minutes

food container- 30 minutes

plastic bag– day long affair.

tupperware- 20 minutes

clamshell for a sandwich-25 minutes

condiment containers/spices–10 minutes

by s.o.

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Downsizing Packaging for Deception!

Here’s a link to the recent NYTimes article:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html?_r=1&ref=containersandpackaging

by s.o.

Passing Through.

In response  to Ran and Ray’s questions about paper, although my relationship is in steady decline, it certainly plays a role in archiving my experiences. I have an extensive collection of letters, photographs, zines, and record covers, all of which could be used to locate me in time and location, while defining my affiliations with various subcultures. For me,  the use of paper for xeroxed zines and handwritten letters, or photobooth pictures has served as a marker of authenticity in a subculture that seems more and more difficult to define.  Historically, the subculture which i am describing, anit-captialist, anti-profit, diy culture revolves around the production and distribution of homemade zines, records, and self-published books. These formats allowed me to make connections with people who existed outside of mainstream definitions of art, politics, and pop-culture. While  some paper zines are still in circulation, others are housed in archives, and liner notes can still be found printed and inserted inside record sleeves, the use of paper is of course in decline.   The use of the internet and digital filing formats has increased access to and appropriation of DIY cultural commodities.  This transformation has also disrupted the notion of “radical individuality” that is the basis for such communities.

In thinking about paper as a marker or record of personal history, I thought about the following piece by Meredyth Sparks:

The image printed on the record sleeve is a photograph Sparks took of a graffiti piece which reads “U can erase history”, this piece had been amended from a prior quote which read ” You can’t erase history”. The second quote appears on the opposite side of the record sleeve. Spark’s work calls into question an unresolvable debate surrounding the erasure of history both literally via the missing record and abstractly through the multiple layers of meaning embedded in the act of amending represented by the graffitti. (Hobbs 63 http://roberthobbs.net/essay%20and%20excerpt%20pdfs/MeredythSparksEssay.pdf)

by s.o.

Art Project Waste

These images are from a project I did for school which involved creating blood with corn syrup and the use of dried flowers. In thinking about household waste, I often use a lot of materials for the purposes of art/craft projects. I ended up throwing out several hydrangeas, bottles of corn syrup and food coloring. I throw a lot of things away that could be composted, because of the limitations of my apt (no access to outdoors/backyard). I tell myself if I had access to a backyard I would compost these materials. Also I’m just thinking in general about wasting materials for the sake of art.

 

I’m also thinking about household trash into art:

NYC Garbage Art

Disaster Capitalism, Haiti and New Orleans

by s.o.

After reading the article on slum Ecology I was reminded of Naomi Klein’s book The Shock Doctrine, in which she outlines this idea of disaster capitalism, which explains the process of the neo-liberal restructuring of countries during times of chaos or distress,in the case of Haiti, a natural disaster.

Naomi Klein Issues Haiti Disaster Capitalism Alert: Stop Them Before They Shock Again.

Additionally in thinking about this quote from Slum Ecology, “Slums begin with bad ecology”, I could not help but think of Katrina, and those most directly effected by the breach in the Levees. After Katrina dozens of tent cities emerged which housed the recent homeless in addition to an influx of inhabitants seeking work.

Solitary Confinement

I have been gravitating towards this idea of time as a commodity, as outlined by Bauman in “The Culture of Waste”. I want to consider the prison system in terms of commodity production as well as “waste” pushed to the margins of  tangibility.  Firstly the prison systems operates essentially as a slave economy under the guise of social rehabilitation.  It is common knowledge that the prison system functions as an industry, providing labor and commodities at costs well below market value.  Solitary confinement has become normal practice in prisons across the United States to maintain this economy. This practice of confinement alienates the prisoner from human interaction and arguably from the sense of being human. In a piece aimed to raise awareness about political prisoners sentenced to solitary confinement, Rigo 23 created the facsimile of such a space in the New Museums stairwell.  A more elaborate description can be found here:  http://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/418  It seems that when a person is stripped of their potential to produce, they are stripped of the ability to waste time. Is solitary confinement a space where wasting of time is impossible, given that the intention of the space is to invisiblize and dehumanize the captive?