On March 6, 2017, the Re-Thanks installation at the Arizona Science Center officially opened. The night started with the exhibition at the Phoenix City Hall and then everyone hopped on trolleys for a short trip over to the Arizona Science Center to see over 3100 flowers made by the community from their own recycled trash - cascading in a 12 ft. x 15 ft. floral wall right inside the entry doors. Every flower carries a bright green note of thanks to the workers who pick up, move and sort our recyclable trash everyday. The notes appear as leaves in this field of colorful gratitude!
In addition to the Re-Thanks project, I've been busy making a series titled "Warning Signals". From my individual collection efforts from the dump, I amassed a significant number of children's toys, clothing and school papers. These paired with other materials I found have come together in this series to question the messages we give to our children - as revealed through these discarded items. Each piece features a combination of textile techniques to assemble, attach and collage these disparate items in a cohesive series with a story. Here is a preview of some details - stay tuned for images of the entire series. (you might recognize Barbie from the home page of this website.)
In early February, a band of volunteers gathered to push us over the top to a count of nearly 3500 flowers, and 3 more garland components for the big install. Pictured are Lois Flynn, Candace Wilkinson, and Nancy Nakamoto.
Over a month's time, Miguel Monzon helped with the final assembly to the finish line. Here he is right after the project was installed at the Arizona Science Center. The opening is yet to come on March 6th, 2017. I can't wait for all the amazing flower makers to enjoy their work in this huge display!
Here's a preview of the piece just inside the entry at the Arizona Science Center. The final installation image is coming soon right after the official opening on March 6th.
Since August, community participants have been making flowers for the ReThanks project from their own recyclable trash. Many have extended the community by inviting friends and family to join in the making. From church groups to elementary school students, to college art classes, and individual flower-making parties, hundreds of people are participating to express their gratitude to the workers who keep our lives in order by sorting through our trash each day.
Opening on February 17th, 2017, the thousands of flowers made by community participants will be assembled and on display at the entry to the Arizona Science Center in downtown Phoenix.
This image shows the cascade of flowers transformed from recyclable trash as it will appear when installed. Each flower will carry a note from its maker to say thank you to the workers who sort through our trash everyday.
Photo: Bill Timmerman, Rendering: Ann Morton
I am excited to announce the kick-off for the Re-Thanks Public Art Project, in conjunction with the 27th Avenue Waste Management Facility Public Artist Residency.
All community members are invited to participate by making flowers from your own recyclable trash. Why? First, you will learn more about how to sort and discard your household recyclables - but in doing this, you will have the opportunity to say thank-you to the workers at the 27th Avenue facility whose job it is to touch and sort through the trash we put into our recycling bins. You’ll see just what happens to what we “ throw away”, to sort and divert as much as possible from the landfill. Through the gesture of making flowers from our trash, together we can create a colossal expression of gratitude when all these flowers are assembled into a textile-like cascade of overwhelming thank-you’s from the community.
So, watch the video, read the introduction below, and go to www.rethanksaz.com right away! On the project website, you will learn more about your recyclable trash, and about these individuals who work everyday to help us keep our lives in order. And, of course, you’ll find all the information you’ll need on how you, your family or your community group can become a part of this community project!
For any further information, contact Ann at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.