Since my last post, I've visited the 27th Ave. site for collection several times, but the highlight of last week was the opportunity for a ride-along with the trash pick up truck for a day. The city schedulers were accommodating enough to put me on the route that picked-up the recycled trash in my own neighborhood. I'll never see the houses along my neighborhood walks the same! A huge shout out to driverJeff Kovac who had to put up with me and my camera all day.
Every single time the truck picks up a can, the entire truck is jostled like being on the Indiana Jones ride at Disneyland - as the arm reaches out, brings the can to the top of the truck, bangs it against the truck to empty it, brings it back down and places it gingerly back where it was, and then the packing unit deploys to push the contents of each can into the back of the truck. By the end of the day, I could feel that rhythm of being jostled every few seconds even when I was no longer in the truck! Below are a few videos from the day.
Click on the three images for video links.
When the call went out from the City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture for public art "residencies" at the City of Phoenix dump, I couldn't wait to apply. Myself and artist Christine Lee were chosen for this amazing opportunity.
As I begin my visits to this place, it feels curiously familiar - my work has often led me to contemplate and interact with trash, and to imagine the lives of the people behind these cast-offs. For me, it is the people of this story that fascinate me. Obviously, I'll never know those whose trash I'm finding and collecting, but I can get to know the people whose job it is to pick-up, receive and sort through our daily detritus. Through this opportunity, I hope to combine the making of objects with an examination of the cycle of our discards, specifically, our recyclable trash.
Right now, I'm collecting – objects and experiences. I've tried my hand at working on the MRF line (material recovery facility), and next week, I will be going on a ride along with the trash collecting truck, on a route going through my own neighborhood! If you don't know this already, recycled materials are a commodity on the world market, so I want to follow the giant bundles of these materials as far as possible to see where they go once they are sorted and bundled for sale.
Below is a selection of images and a video link that reflect the last few weeks. What will I make from what I'm collecting? I'm excited to find out. I'll continue to post as the project progresses.
Click on top image for video link.
Click on each image below for enlargement and description.
New Work in Progress
This is an ongoing narrative that follows new projects in progress.