Read the full story at Inside Illinois.
Ken Butler, a New York City-based artist and musician, is the featured performer at the Sonified Sustainability Festival on the University of Illinois campus. Butler makes hybrid musical instruments from all sorts of everyday objects. His creations have been exhibited in galleries and museums, and he also plays music on some of the instruments he makes.
The festival will also feature a waste sculpture that incorporates approximately 2,304 plastic bottles, which represents the number of bottles consumed in the US every 1.45 seconds. According to Ban The Bottle, the US consumes ~50 billion plastic bottles/year. The waste sculpture was constructed by students, overseen by my colleague Joy Scrogum, as part of a grant from the University of Illinois’ Student Sustainability Committee to the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center.
Read the full story in the Burlington County Times.
Picking up the trash can be a dirty job, but the borough’s new garbage truck is looking good as it rolls around town, showcasing student art and sending a message.
While the Public Works Department intended to buy just another garbage truck to perform typical duties, officials found a way to involve the community to rally behind their newest initiative to actively have residences and businesses separate their trash and recycling. What started as adding a little flair to the Hino truck purchased from the H.K. Truck Center in South Plainfield, Middlesex County, grew into a student art project.
In the Spring of 1962, The New Yorker published Rachel Carson’s anti-pesticide manifesto, Silent Spring, in three installments. Carson’s message quickly transcended the magazine’s readership, eliciting a national response that would eventually lead to a federal ban on DDT for agricultural use and the creation of the EPA. In honor of Carson’s legacy and Women’s History Month, cartoonist David Gessner illustrates the pioneering writer’s final years as she fought for the environment and for her life. (Based on Linda Lear’s biography, Rachel Carson: Witness for Nature.)
[h/t The Sierra Club]
Read the full story in Fast Company.
Kim Markel left a career in environmental policy to make furniture in Beacon, NY. Her Glow chairs give upcycling a whole new look.
Read the full story at Atlas Obscura.
A local dump might seem an unlikely place to create art, but that’s exactly what’s been happening at the San Francisco Transfer Station and Recycling Center, Recology, since 1990. As part of Recology’s Artist in Residence program, local artists transform trash into art at an on-site studio, using discarded materials sourced directly from the garbage and recycling of San Franciscans.
The idea originated with artist and environmentalist Jo Hanson. After creating her own art with trash and assisting with campaigns such as city-wide street sweepings, in the late 1980s Hanson approached Recology about a program where artists could reuse materials from the dump. At around the same time, San Francisco was implementing new recycling laws, and looking for ways to raise awareness about waste. The artist-in-residence program fit that bill.
Read the full post at the ISTC Blog.
ISTC’s efforts to help the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign achieve zero waste goals and foster a culture of waste reduction will include a unique public education display during Earth Week this spring.
Read the full story in Grist.
All futures wind up in the dump. In that sense, artist Jenny Odell’s Bureau of Suspended Objects project — which explores the fuzzy line between art object and junk — fit right in at Fusion’s Real Future Fair in San Francisco, where I first heard about it. As you might expect from the event’s name, there was a lot of future on display — future food, future therapists, future dildos. Odell’s work focused on the far end of the futurism paradigm, where today’s futures land on the trash heap.