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.