Trash Therapy

Trash Therapy: Is consumer guilt hiding a bigger problem?

Check out our blog at http://trashtherapy.wordpress.com/

This project was a collaboration between:

Sabrina Dorsainvil
Jessica Kisner
Aubrey Murdock
Jonathan Lapalme
Alexander Roesch

About us:

We ask….How do we theorize our waste? The framework with which we view our trash can have vast implications for the future of our global society. Does the solution to our waste problem lie in our consumptive habits? Our methods of production? Our infrastructure? Legislation?

Our blog aimed to explore these crucial questions and post about our trials, tribulations, and maybe even conclusions as we collectively put ourselves through trash therapy.

A little background about some of our process:

Initial Diagram

When trash therapy was originally conceived, a simple diagram of two squares and a circle was produced to illuminate our conception of the quantities of waste we produce. The much smaller square was to represent the consumption based waste, while the larger square surrounding it represented the production based waste. The tiny circle straddling the edge of the consumer square, covering some terrain in the production square, was to represent the waste visible to the average person.

original_trash_diagram

Process

As we progressed through our therapy, this initial diagram was realized to be a gross oversimplification and was thus used as a jumping off point for us to dig deeper. To start we each began with an item to see if we could uncover all of the processes that led to its creation and ultimate demise. Focusing on the banana we found that as much as it is a fruit, it also embodies the processes of growth, harvest, shipment, refrigeration and artificial ripening. Within these processes we found various connection points, the plastic bags, the boats, the trucks, the chemicals, the stores, all entry points to more supply chains, production and consumption. As we continued we became lost trying to make sense of the banana within the typical narrative of a story. From our conversations, our attempts to map out the life of one product, our collective banana disorientation, the picture began to change.

Moving Forward

Through the experience of collective research and experimentation, we have rejected the world of delineated shapes for a more amorphous representation that brings us closer to revealing more of the waste spectrum. We acknowledge the consumer sphere and production sphere to be entangled, as we all produce and consume various forms of economic and cultural capital. There is no visible spectrum of waste for the average person, and while most of us do not encounter first hand the production dominated wastes, we feel the effects of these wastes of production daily. As trash therapists, we look forward to seeing more of the processes around every product we consume.

 

Our process led to a blog that houses 1. Play Therapy  2. Augmented Trash

1. Play Therapy holds activities surrounding the topic of trash.

 

TrashTherapyActivites_Page_1

TrashTherapyActivites_Page_2

 

2. Augmented Trash:

Augmented Trash Synopsis (A Web Documentary)

The computer you are looking at right now can be viewed as a singular object, or your computer can be seen as a combination of innumerable, never ending processes. The webdoc, Augmented Trash, exists to make these processes visible. This webdoc captures the swirling world of quotidian objects in which we live and allows you to explore the materialized processes within and around each item and add those that are missing. Series of non-linear vignettes create an augmented reality to add to the traditional narratives of the ‘life cycle’ of a product. With no clear beginnings and ends, Augmented Trash illuminates the production, consumption and re-constitution of products. The aim of this project is to change the way you see everyday products so that you look at, through and around them.

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