We will be reviewing current research on how and why increased product lifetimes have become an important element in resource efficiency, waste reduction and low carbon strategies for sustainability. PLATE will embrace a multi-disciplinary perspective including design, geography, anthropology, business management, economics, marketing and consumer behaviour, sociology and politics.
Keeley Haftner’s public art, two shrink-wrapped bails of recyclable materials, was inspired by her time as a sort-liner at the city’s local recycling plant. Now vandalized, draped in a black tarp and bearing a sign that states, “Our tax dollars are for keeping garbage OFF the streets”, the installation has started a dialogue about waste and art in public spaces.
Industry developed disposability through planned obsolescence, single-use items, cheap materials, throw-away packaging, fashion, and conspicuous consumption. American industry designed a shift in values that circulated goods through, rather than into, the consumer realm. The truism that humans are inherently wasteful came into being at a particular time and place, by design.
The Rare Earth Catalog will be a repository of tools: from the critical, to the conceptual, to the practical, that can help us resist, rework, redefine, and remember the interconnections of our socio-ecological present. We are seeking collaborators to help us envision and ultimately produce the Catalog. We are also interested in receiving contributions of (short) texts and images that connect specific examples of climate-change related politics and processes to a wide range of themes, including waste, fixing, and pollution.
Participatory design is a practice where ordinary users are part of the design process to help ensure the results meets their needs and values. Thus, both the process and the products tend to be different than a top-down approach to creating (and wasting) objects. Love in E-waste adds another twist, in that rather than designing something from scratch, it starts with a waste product.
Artist Paul Lloyd Sargent launches Artificial Corridors, a project to pilot a 19-foot, open-hulled powerboat, to navigate across the New York State Canal System and down the Hudson River, and to transport a cargo comprised of remnants of the Great Lakes Basin’s toxic legacy.
We are pleased to announce the launch of the Discard Studies Compendium, a list of critical key terms. It is critical in the sense that it comes out of methods in the humanities and social sciences that contextualize the problems and systems that are not readily apparent to the invested but casual observer.
The project asks: “what if we were required to physically store and care for our personal devices, such as cell phones and desktop computers, long after these machines served their intended function? In such an imaginary, unusable technologies remain within our sights, and in our sites.” They are asking people to submit their stories.
Archaeogaming is as much about exploring and conducting archaeology within gaming environments (virtual space) as it is about understanding the history of video games in the real world (meat space).
What are the frontiers in discard studies that would benefit from punk archeology?
How questioning maintenance and repair can help discussing such issues as humans and non-humans relationships, materiality and objects agency, matters of concern and matters of care, and more generally the ongoing production of social order?
Are there ways–through art–to acknowledge or conceptualize waste that would do more than celebrate such reuse or recycling? How can artists, philosophers, theorists, activists, and others produce new ways to acknowledge or envision events and phenomena like the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, radioactive wastelands like Fukushima or Bikini Atoll, the animal wastes of feedlots, the water wastes of fracking, or the mountains of trash produced by consumer culture?