Project: Identify a piece of garbage. Create a work of art that provokes a debate about how to manage this waste. 

Offer at least one regimen utilized by an artist in this section. For example:

-Starling: dismantle the garbage and make it into something else

-HeHe: change consumption behaviors to avoid producing waste

-Superflex: recycle the waste to produce energy

Offer at least one waste regimen that you originate. For example:

Fine the person responsible for this waste for reckless consumerism.

Pass a law requiring the producer of this item to reclaim it when it is discarded.

Research / Discussion: What follows is a brief outline of the history of waste regimens in the US:

-In 1657 concerns regarding sanitation, visual blight of garbage, and foul odors was officially established when a law against casting waste in the streets was passed in New Amsterdam (now Manhattan).

-Benjamin Franklin devised a scheme to remove waste from Philadelphia by using slaves to deposit Philadelphia's waste downstream.

-In 1834 the role of vultures in waste management was encouraged by a West Virginia law protecting the birds from being hunted.

-In 1885 the nation's first garbage incinerator was built on Governor's Island, New York.

-In 1898 recycling first appeared in the catalogue of official policies when the country's first rubbish sorting plant was established.

-In the 19th century, people bid for the right to scavenge New York City's rubbish.

-At the end of the 19th century, the citizens of Alexandria, Virginia protested the stench of garbage-laden barges floating past them from Washington, D.C. by sinking the barges upriver.

Match one historic waste regimen to the regimen used by one of the artists in this section. For example, compare the role of vultures to Gelitin's "Rabbit". Or compare Benjamin Franklin's removal of urban waste to Ukeles. Discuss the current role of that waste management regimen.

  • Friday, 14 September 2012