The Lucrece Project: Creative Experiments in Critical Practice is sponsoring Trash Lab, a performative experiment that models non-traditional economies and notions of value.

The New York Trash Exchange.

“The New York Trash Exchange,” where people could take anything if they made something to replace it with. AC Institute, NYC.

Trash Lab is based on the work of artist Max Liboiron, who builds miniature landscapes out of trash and invites viewers to interact with the installation according to one or two simple rules of exchange. In the past, rules have included: take anything away at any time, take something if you leave something behind of equal or greater value, and take something to pass on to someone else. These interactions are documented through surveys, video, participant-observation or interviews, and the resulting data show spontaneous economies that exhibit different characteristics than those of everyday market-driven capitalism. They show that people are not inherently greedy, self-maximizing, or selfish, but generous, creative, and even daring in their relationship to each other and to trash. For examples, see

Trash Lab requires a number of collaborators to help determine the rules of exchange, the location and type of trash-art used in the exchange, documenting and gathering data, and interpreting data. The exhibit will happen in March, 2012. The final results will be shared at the Lucrece Project Conference  in April, 2012, and our aim is to to co-publish an interdisciplinary paper with various collaborators (optional). The Project takes place in New York City, NY.

Collaborators should have any one or a combination of the following skill sets:
– **a project of your own that involves theorizing or researching an alternative economy you would like to have modeled
– *visual art skills to help make the piece
– *academic interview skills
– *academic interview-participation skills
– *quantitative and/or qualitative data analysis skills
– *an interest in using Trash Lab as a case study for environmental or economic art activism in your own research|
– photography or video skills for documentation
– a willingness to save or scavenge trash
– knowledge of alternative economies and/or economic history and/or behavioral economics
– knowledge of game theory or other rule-based interaction theory/science
– knowledge of the social life of un/re/valued things
If interested, please contact max.liborion [at] with a short description of the skills or interests you have that address the needs of the project.