Read in the dark.
The afterlife of your closet.
Baled is a photography project that follows just some of the millions of pounds of clothing discarded annually in the US and shipped overseas to be recycled.
Beginning in a recycling warehouse in St. Louis, the photographer, Wesley Law, ultimately hopes to capture the entire journey made by these monolithic cubes of clothing — wherever it may lead. For now, he’s made a new series of large-format photographs of the bales here in the US, and he’s looking for help to cover the costs of printing the images and preparing for their exhibition.
If Law’s project is successfully funded and the work ends up constituting his first solo show, Law hopes to continue tracing the paths these bales take — and to share if and how the things we throw away ever return to our shores.
Down in the dumps.
RAIR is an artist residency program born and raised in a junkyard.
RAIR takes advantage of a unique opportunity to grant artists direct access to the waste stream — turning trash into treasure in the process. Housed in a Philadelphia recycling center, the program develops new work sourced from found materials and encourages artists to return completed projects to be recycled once again.
Previous residents have rigged sails from forklifts, constructed houses from heating ducts, and published a taxonomy of trash. Future refuse reuse is just a little funding away — that’s why RAIR is our Project of the Day.
Taxonomy of trash.
RAIR is an artist residency program with a twist: Its greatest resource is refuse.
An experiment at the intersection of art and industry, RAIR carves out a self-sustaining workspace in the middle of a Philadelphia recycling facility.
Artists are introduced to the waste stream and empowered to salvage a cornucopia of materials, which become the building blocks of new work. In turn, these projects increase awareness of reuse on a larger scale, suggesting unconventional ways of seeing the things we throw away.
After years of scrappy operation with neither a budget or a staff, the small team behind RAIR is turning to Kickstarter for a boost. By cultivating an infusion of funding and a community of backers, the organization hopes to develop a more active, accessible, and sustainable model for 2013 — and produce new transformations of trash into treasure.
A Creational Trail.
Matireal demonstrates that a simple idea can transform a local problem into a network of new possibilities.
Environmental architect Keith Hayes began his project with a nearly unlimited resource: used tires. The goal is to connect two neighborhoods that are currently divided by a disused railroad and a six-lane road, while reusing discarded tires that litter both neighborhoods and breed those infamous Wisconsin mosquitos.
By transforming trashed tires into matireal — a geotextile infilled with gravel and sod — Hayes hopes to build an art corridor along an abandoned industrial route and connect communities together. Residents benefit; trash is recycled; private land becomes public; economic opportunties are created; and the model is proven, clearing a path for similar projects in other cities.
How’s that for a win-win-win-win-win?
Can cardboard boxes save your marriage? An interview with Christopher AbadView on Kickstarter
- Christopher Abad is a hacker, engineer and artist based in Portland, OR. He is currently using Kickstarter to fund 36 Dollars Magazine, an experiment in recycling his own wastepaper — and our Project of the Day. The following interview was conducted via online chat and has been edited for style, clarity and concision. Check out the project — kck.st/QTP2VG.
- Kickstarter: Hey Christopher! What's happening?
- Christopher: Not much really, just figuring out what to do today. The magazine thing is something I've been working on, off and on, since 2003, mainly just as a way to kill time and test out simple things. I just got tired of looking at all the Amazon.com boxes around the house. It just started to seem really ridiculous how much cardboard we go through ordering stuff, and then the boxes go through a long process of being broken down and made right back into more Amazon boxes.
- Kickstarter: This might be an odd question, but is the humor in your approach intentional? It seems like there's an undercurrent of satire in your sincerity.
- Christopher: Actually I try just to not come off as being angry… because I try to work on things I really care about, so it's really hard to not be emotional about it. I'm definitely sincere.
- Kickstarter: You mention in your current project that this might be a trial run for subsequent ideas. What happens next?
- Christopher: Well immediately, the next project exists because my wife always complains I'm too loud at night. First off, cardboard is already corrugated, so it's an array of channels. Have you ever seen inside a car muffler or a transmission line speaker? Well you can just think of it as a series of rooms, each with different filtering properties. So as the sound passes from room to room or chamber to chamber, engineers try to dampen different parts of the sound spectra to satisfy some acoustic properties they like — in the case of goofy things like MagnaFlow mufflers, its to make the low frequency sound loud and suppress the high.
- Kickstarter: OK gotcha.
- Christopher: Basically the idea is that you can then just take advantage of the corrugated channels in the cardboard, sandwich them together in a certain way, and cut out somewhat fractally decreasing slots in the sides.
- Kickstarter: Cutting out certain wavelengths...
- Christopher: And you should be able to come up with really inexpensive (free, basically) acoustic treatment. Which is currently a market dominated by a lot of snake oil. So my measurement for success is that my wife yells at me less for waking her up. If that happens, then I'll get that out there, and get more people thinking about cardboard uses instead of throwing it away just to buy it again.
- Kickstarter: Thanks for hanging in the Internet, Christopher!
- Christopher: Alright, well thanks a lot. I really appreciate the conversation. This is the kind of thing I wanted to accomplish, just knowing that I was able to convey a reasonably clear idea. That people have had a really positive response makes me feel like it's been well worth it so far.