ashdenizen: is “junk” a celebration or a critique of waste?

‘Junkitecture’ is a clever term, combining design and ‘waste’. But what if the materials used for buildings, for sets, for props, for puppets, for the vehicles and floats of parades, were thought of simply as ‘materials’? Of course, they would have a special value or feel if they had been used for something else. But to call them ‘junk’ is to share the attitude that separates the ‘new’ from what we think of as ‘waste’. What is happening with the use of materials in the arts that have a history can often be more of  a valorisation of consumerism and excess, a celebration of trash as ‘trash’ or salvage, than a critique of waste or an affirmation of recycling.

What if no special claims could be made for using reclaimed or recycled materials because it was commonplace? Then, what would be remarked on would be the design, the space or object itself, and the qualities that the materials brought to it.

The Jellyfish Theatre building was enchanting for its design and for its transiency, a theatre space in a symbolic shape, assembled from what was to hand, played in, and then dispersed, the theatre becoming again the material that it was, maybe to be used again, having acquired another layer of history.

via ashdenizen: is “junk” a celebration or a critique of waste?.

Photographer Robert Adams on art and society

The 72-year-old photographer Robert Adams, famous as part of the New Topographics photography movement,  which recorded the impact humans have on the natural environment, has won the 2009 Hasselblad Foundation Award. He took part in a webchat on behalf of the Hasselblad Foundation. Here’s a short extract:

Questioner:What part does an artist play in society?
Robert Adams: I recently tried to answer an inquiry like that from Belgian artists: First we have an obligation simply to be the citizens we want everyone to be – informed, engaged, reasonable, and compassionate. Then as artists we are called historically to a double mission, to instruct and delight, to tell the truth but also to find in it a basis for affirmation.”
Questioner: What do you think is the most serious threat facing the world?
Robert Adams: Overpopulation. Its the fundamental, lethal accelerant for most environmental and social problems.

Go to RSA Arts & Ecology