Artist, Joshua Sofaer, collected a month’s worth of rubbish from the Science Museum. He then spent around a month (with the help of volunteers) sorting the rubbish into stuff that could be recycled and stuff that couldn’t. The recycling stuff was sent off to be recycled while the rest was organised into his art installation, The Rubbish Collection. Once the recycled material was changed into new usable material, it was returned to also become part of the piece. I visited the installation at lunch time today.
The Rubbish Collection is amazing. A fantastic idea that gives us some idea of how much everyday stuff we throw away which is then recycled and used again, usually as something else. If we’re going to live in such a wasteful society it’s excellent to know that a lot of what we throw away can be reincarnated as something else.
Of course that doesn’t allow for really lazy people who just don’t bother to recycle at all but there’s not a lot you can do about them, given they don’t really care about the world anyway.
There’s a lot of post-recycled stuff like bags full of plastic beads, sacks of wood chips and giant rolls of cardboard but there’s also some extraordinary things that were found in the garbage over the collection week.
However, of the entire room, my favourite has to be the cutlery circle. This is a huge circle of plastic knives, forks and spoons (mostly black because that’s what’s used in the museum cafes but also some extraneous coloured ones) laid out in pleasing patterns. In amongst the plastic there is even some steel cutlery which someone, for some reason, threw away. It’s hard to tell the scale from this image (I almost managed to get a boy in it but he ‘helpfully’ walked away when he saw me taking a photo) but the circle is about 20 feet in diameter.
There’s an awful lot more about the project on the artist’s website, here if of interest.
Before and after enjoying the rubbish, I equally enjoyed my research…after being away for five weeks. I celebrated by completing the Maudslay Collection. And it felt good.