Category Archives: Aesthetics

CFP: Living and Dying with “Waste Infrastructure”: Affect and Practicalities (AAA)

This panel takes seriously the way of living or dying near the waste infrastructure, showing explicitly ethnographic inquiries of despair, anxiety, hope, and sense of purity, safety, and security through looking at the daily pragmatics. Deadline: 4/5/16.

Article Alert! Redefining pollution and action: The matter of plastics

From the specific case of marine plastics, Liboiron’s paper offers a more general point that those of us who study discards need to remember to take seriously: How we represent the materiality of the discards we study has a crucial influence on the effectiveness of any action proposed to solve or mitigate their generation.

Article Alert! Attuning to the Chemosphere: Domestic Formaldehyde, Bodily Reasoning, and the Chemical Sublime

“”During the first hour spent in houses with suspected indoor air-quality issues, I would slowly develop an ache in the back of my eyes, which would with time spread throughout my skull. I repeatedly found myself struggling to resist a physical desire to expedite interviews as my mind felt increasingly woolly, my focus slipped, and my lines of inquiry lost their direction.”

Designing for the Future at Giant Mine

How do you communicate permanent pollution and toxicity to future generations? We held workshops with community members in Yellowknife and Dettah to make models about they would communicate the dangers of buried arsenic at the local Giant Mine into the future.

Temporality and Waste: Slow Violence

The distribution of environmental damage in time as well as space is a key aspect of this problem, one not always recognized in the oft-invoked notion of pollution as “matter out of place.”

Visually Representing Slow Disasters

Slow violence and chronic disasters create a representational challenge. How do you visualize a non-event so that it imparts the severity of the problem without turning it into an event?

The Perils of Ruin Porn: Slow Violence and the Ethics of Representation

The main argument against cinematic, photogenic images of ruination is that they can work against revitalization, and obscure systemic problems that cause certain patterns of ruination and harm.

Queering Waste Through Camp

Like queer theory, discard studies is interested in uneven remainders, things that don’t fit neatly into categories. Both concern themselves with the strange and imperfect construction of divisions that do violence to humans, cultures, and environments, while still attending to the fact that these divisions have meaning for people, that they are strategic, and that they structure our thought in ways that are almost impossible to escape.

Abjection: A definition for discard studies

Abjection describes a social and psychological process by which things like garbage, sewage, corpses and rotting food elicit powerful emotional responses like horror and disgust.

Bringing Waste to Public Spaces: Discussion with Artist Keeley Haftner

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.