RAIR (Recycled Artist in Residency) is a young yet accomplished project located within a construction waste recycling center in Philadelphia. They have twelve hours left in a fundraising campaign to open the trash-stream residency program to applications from artists in the Spring of 2013. They hope to hire staff with the money and become a viable arts-trash organization. Artists have long sourced art supplies from the waste stream, for economic reasons, to leverage the history and patina of used and discarded items, and to specifically comment on waste and discard practices. However, curb-side picking is not nearly as efficient or rewarding as wading through a compiled collection of waste at recycling centers, transfer stations and dumps, most of which are inaccessible to artists and members of the public, particularly in urban areas. RAIR is giving artists access to the waste stream and to space to make their art.
For those of you new to crowd sourcing funds, third party systems like Kickstarter and Indiegogo usually ask fund raisers to provide thank you “perks” to donors. The perks for the RAIR project fundraiser are artistic Discard Studies in and of themselves, including a stash of Sanborn Maps they found in the trash heap, and a Taxonomy of Trash poster by Tim Eads.
More about RAIR from their website:
“RAIR (Recycled Artist-In-Residency) is a group of dedicated individuals working to connect art and sustainability. We provide artists with salvaged materials and comfortable workspace while increasing awareness about the waste stream.
This project came out of requests from Philadelphia-based artists wanting access to recycled materials at Revolution Recovery, LLC – a construction and demolition recycling facility in Philadelphia. They’ve been informally donating materials to artists for years, and have dreamed of starting a structured program. A group of people started thinking about the potential for establishing a formal residency program at the facility. We’ve been dedicating time and energy into the project for a while now, and believe RAIR is ready to play a key role in creating awareness about art and sustainability in Philadelphia.”