Archive for Base 3: Material Circulations

macbar | plastic is a “femme fatale”; so beautiful, yet so bad

by Tassos Lockbird

last week a friend of mine took me to this nevertheless fun place that makes specifically mac and cheese, but many kinds. what is even more impressive is their takeaway packaging. so pretty, so shiny, so…useless. or…is it art? because underneath, it says “designed by Ran Lerner”! I don’t know, and I don’t even think it matters. what matters is that even though I have always played devil’s advocate and defended “plastic”, this time [it was too late to say no to the packaging when I saw it!], I was stunned. the amounts of plastic started building up…



by Tassos Lockbird

…because, better late than never…

…here are a few pictures from our visit to Newtown Creek!

Definitely one of my personal highlights of this semester.

IMF implications in developing nations

by cindy

S.O.: great job last night.  if you are interested in learning more about the IMF policy impact on developing nations – in particular local food production –  you should check out this documentary about just this topic in jamaica:

it is extremely informative on the topic and very well done in general.




by cindy

Finally watched this movie last night.  It is really great.

In its own way the film covers so many of the ideas that we have discussed in class over the semester: the practice of gleaning, the process by which waste policy can be formalized by outsiders, the contents of trash as a reflection of a culture’s ideas and values, trash as the great equalizer (the trash of the rich mixing with the trash of the poor), the social judgements projected upon those who process our garbage, etc.   It leaves the attentive viewer with a lot to think about on the topic of waste management without becoming a didactic work on the subject.

Of course the film is equally about the transformative power of art and the evolution of the artist through the process as well.

The narrative reminded a bit of the Oscar winning film “Born into Brothels”.   While uplifting on one hand, Born into Brothers had did have some problematics around the lens in which it was observed, ie: western white eye goes to Indian brothels, uplifts street kids through art, sells art to rich white people.)  Wasteland is a bit less problematic in this regard since the subjects are adults (less inherently exploitable) and because they are being observed by a native of their culture and background.   I appreciated that aspect of the film making as well.

It’s worth a watch for sure.

e-waste recycling event interview

by cindy

last weekend team e-waste attended an e-waste recycling event at union square.  we had the opportunity to interview a representative from the lower east side ecology center, organizer of the event.  we learned some very interesting facts about what e-waste is, where it comes from, why it is a growing waste stream, and how the process of this waste stream is becoming formalized.  because the blog doesn’t allow us to upload audio files directly, i’ve embedded the audio file in a .ppt slide.  you can download the slide and then double click on the icon in the slide to play the interview.


Case 5, Inquiry #1: Material E-Waste

The E-Waste team has assembled a series of questions that it would like to pose to the class over the course of the next couple of weeks.  Our first inquiry concerns the material aspect of e-waste:

“Electronic waste”, or e-waste, may be defined as all secondary computers, entertainment device electronics, mobile phones, and other items such as television sets and refrigerators, whether sold, donated, discarded, or recycled by their original owners.   In the U.S, we generate more than 3 million tons of e-waste every year.  Of this amount, only about 15% enters the recycling stream.  The remainder is either destined for landfills and/or incineration – either domestically or abroad.

Please post pictures of e-waste that you currently have in your home.  Tell us why you have not yet either discarded or recycled it.

NYC Garbage Art