Six ways to reuse plastic trash and/or shopping bags:

1. Scoopin’ pet poop.

2. Keeping a couple in your suitcase to stash dirty clothes in when traveling.

3. Keeping ‘em in your car to stash trash in.

4. Emergency rain hat.

5. Packing material for holiday ornaments.

6. Making inflatable creature sculptures and place them above subway grates on the streets of New York City.

Joshua Allen Harris, a NYC street artist, is responsible for that last one. He caused a stir (and probably a few screams) last spring and summer when he strategically affixed animal and monster sculptures crafted from old plastic shopping and trash bags (with nothing but tape) to subway grating on city streets. As trains whooshed by underground, exhaust rushed through the street-level grates and into the creatures, bringing them to life.

Since Harris’ inflatable street art made a splash at a time when MNN was just a twinkle in Mother Nature’s eye, I thought they deserved a second look (thanks for the reminder, dornob).

I’ve never seen Harris’ art in the flesh but I do admit there was a two-day period last year when I walked the streets of Manhattan suspiciously eying all plastic litter near subway grates in fear that it would suddenly become animated.

Many think that all New Yorkers are as tough as nails and unfazed by unusual goings-on on city streets. I'm not one of them. As captivating and beautiful as Harris’ work is, it would probably give me a stroke if inflated at the right moment. Side note: I once witnessed a shrieking woman who strongly resembled Shelley Winters' character in Pete’s Dragon break a Snapple bottle over a garbage can and lunge at random passersby (myself included) on a crowded street with her DIY weapon. This partially explains my jumpiness.

Scary Shelly Winters film roles and inflatable plastic bag creatures aside, are there any unusual ways that you've incorporated old plastic bags into arts n' crafts or design projects?

Via [dornob]

Photo: adamandrachel; Thumbnail: whatisnextnow

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Scary, beautiful trash bag creatures
The streets of NYC come alive with plastic bags, subway exhaust and the imagination of artist Joshua Allen Harris.