Tag Archives: Waste

Accumulation: The Material Politics of Plastic

This edited collection explores the material politics of plastics. From food punnets to credit cards, plastic facilitates every part of our daily lives. It has become central to processes of contemporary socio-material living. Universalised and abstracted, it is often treated as the passive object of political deliberations, or a problematic material demanding human management. But […]

Depletion Design

As part of transmediale 2013 BWPWAP, I participated in a panel on the newly published text, Depletion Design: A Glossary of Network Ecologies, edited by Carolin Wiedemann & Soenke Zehle. Fellow contributors Marie-Luise Angerer and David M. Berry discussed aspects of depletion and exhaustion during the panel. My contribution covered the topics of “Natural History” […]

Plastic and the Work of the Biodegradable

Plastics are material substances often condemned for their inability to biodegrade in the environment. New forms of plastics have been developed with capacities for biodegradability, a material strategy that is meant to remedy the (visible) problem of plastics accumulation. This paper discusses the distinct types of work undertaken by humans and more-than-humans in the material […]

Sink: The Dirt of Systems

Sinks are a device within environmental studies that describe spaces and processes that capture and channel wastes. This paper first explores sinks both as a cultural figure of environmental understanding, and as an important technoscientific instrument within current attempts to describe the global carbon cycle in relation to climate change. The movement of wastes to […]

Media in the Dump

  “Media in the Dump” examines the phenomenon of electronic waste through five locations, from sites of manufacture (Silicon Valley) to disposal (China). Not only are digital media not “immaterial,” this essay suggests, but the wastes that they generate circulate through complex material global geographies. This 2006 essay is published through Alphabet City’s special collection, […]

Paper Mountains, Disposable Cities

  Paper, that disposable medium, constitutes the bulk of material found in landfills. This essay investigates the printed matter that turns up in one particular landscape, the Fresh Kills Landfill in New York City. Fieldwork at the landfill was conducted in 2001 while participating in the “Landfill to Landscape” competition with Rios Clementi Hale Studios. […]

The Art of Salvage

  “The Art of Salvage” consists of a series of postcards written, designed and installed at the USED / Goods exhibition held at the Salvation Army, Montreal (November 2004). An essay was developed from the postcards, and included in the catalog documenting the event. Postcard text excerpts: Scan the crammed interior of any thrift store. […]