Tuesday, November 30, 2010

My Days at the Beach -- Garbage/Art as a Way to Observe Your Environment

When I go to the beach, I troll for garbage. It is my way of claiming the beach, loving the beach, and, most importantly, seeing it. Looking for cigarettes is not my goal. Looking for cigarettes is the process I use to make me look at the sand, water, and sky. It is also a great excuse to walk around and see what people are up to.

Last summer, at Chicago's gayish Hollywood Beach, I used my trash collecting as a source of material to make collages that commemorated the days. It is a bit cyclical -- I went to the beach, found some cigarettes, and glued them into my journal as a memorial of looking for cigarettes. I generated some garbage of my own, the "Blue Bunny Sundae Crunch" wrapper and stick (see bottom photo). This treat reminds me of the strawberry shortcake bars I got as a kid from ice cream trucks on Chicago's South Side.

The top collage is a bit more complicated. I call it "Bicycle and Ladder go to the Beach". I bought an eight-foot ladder for a project and knew that if I took it home, I would not have enough desire to go back out to the beach. So, the ladder accompanied me (and the bicycle) to the beach.


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