3Rs: Nicole Fournier Activates the Second 'R'
“3RV” is a visible reminder to reduce ‘residual’ waste that appears throughout the world. The three ‘R’s are lined up in a meaningful sequence, beginning with the most desirable environmental outcome and ending with the least. The first ‘R’ stands for reduction at the source; the second for reuse; the third for recycling. While recycling waste is the least beneficial, it monopolizes the attention of environmentally-conscious municipalities and good Samaritan consumers everywhere; neither seems inclined to reduce consumption or seek new uses for unwanted objects.
As an example, it is common for consumers to assume that once a book’s reading appeal has been exhausted, it is automatically reclassified as trash. To them, if a book is not going to be read, it no longer has value. Even channeling unwanted books into recycling programs is not a solution, since recycling procedures are often costly and wasteful. Landfills are heaped with the products of such narrow-mindedness.
In contrast, re-users are creative thinkers who approach a book that is not going to the read as a material object with potential for alternative forms of service. They disregard its intended function. Instead, they highlight its physical attributes: books are sheets of paper bound between covers. Their pages are modular and pliable. Stacked, these pages are as solid as a brick. In addition, books are flammable; absorb water; open and close; and fit in the hand. By concentrating on these material traits, re-users can discover multiple new employment opportunities for discarded books:
Use them as door stops; dig them into a compost pile; stack them to create a table; burn them to generate warmth and light; use the pages to wrap sandwiches or as toilet paper; grind the pages to make new paper; crumble the pages to insulate a wall; gold the pages into envelopes; tear the pages for mulch, etc.
Nicole Fournier, a resident of Quebec, designs her creative art practice around the second ‘R’.
To Life! Eco Art in Pursuit of a Sustainable Planet documents the burgeoning eco art movement from A to Z, presenting a panorama of artistic responses to environmental concerns, from Ant Farm’s anti-consumer antics in the 1970s to Marina Zurkow’s 2007 animation that anticipates the havoc wreaked upon the planet by global warming. This text is the first international survey of twentieth and twenty-first-century artists who are transforming the global challenges facing humanity and the Earth’s diverse living systems. Their pioneering explorations are situated at today’s cultural, scientific, economic, spiritual, and ethical frontiers. The text guides students of art, design, environmental studies, and interdisciplinary studies to integrate environmental awareness, responsibility, and activism into their professional and personal lives.
To Life! website »