Trash can inspire eco-art — as evidenced by the Pink Tab Bikini Top
— but apparently, trash can be art in itself. In New York City alone, there’s not just one, but two photoblogs inspired by urban trash-as-art!
I view the garbage on the streets as sculptures, created by the inhabitants of this city, which last for very short periods of time. Either someone comes along and adds to the garbage with more garbage, or someone picks through the garbage and changes it or sanitation workers pick it up and leave room for an entirely new sculpture to take its place. Physically these pieces of ‘art’ will never exist again.
They’ll continue to exist through Last Night’s Garbage’s photo documentation, however. LNG often juxtaposes photos of garbage with semi-related stories, giving both the photos and the stories a new meaning. A photo of an abandoned bassinet
, for example, got paired with a news story about the body of a dead baby that got accidentally thrown out with the trash. And more recently, photos of discarded holiday trees
were mashed up with information about NYC’s tree mulching program, giving the blog post a more eco-activist bent.
In fact, documenting trash — even if begun for aesthetic reasons — seems to inevitably inspire eco-activism on the part of the photographer-blogger. Gutter Envy
, for example, mostly documents one blogger’s "fascination of wet trash," but the blog’s simple photo-and-title post format sometimes gets interrupted by the blogger’s ideas about making the blog more eco-activist-oriented
First, I should include the countless Poland Springs bottles, Dunkin’Donuts cups, and Marlboro soft packs, etc., that I have chosen to ignore (or fish out of my otherwise kick-ass shot). And secondly, I should take it one step further and engage in dialogue (anyone with phone numbers? contacts? please submit) with these companies about their lack of forethought put into the life span of their product packaging.
Perhaps simply following these blogs will inspire its readers to rethink their daily consumer habits. One strange observation I’ve had about trash blogs is that New York trash blogs tend to focus on documenting trash on the streets — like LNG and Gutter Envy do — while California trash blogs tend to document collected trash within the home — like everydaytrash
and Fake Plastic Fish
do. What accounts for this discrepancy? My guess is the general size of living spaces, but I’d be interested in hearing your hypotheses –