Plastic Imaginaries

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Plastic Imaginaries

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Publication Article, other scientific
Artistic work
Title Plastic Imaginaries
Author Lindström, Kristina ; Ståhl, Åsa
Date 2017
English abstract
What practices can we imagine in this world where progress, novelty, and production of the new has been privileged to the extent that it has had profound impact on not only culture but also nature and how we understand the relationship between the two? Jackson has, for example, suggested practices of maintenance and repair as stories and orders that can handle the decay and breakdown of the 21st Century.[1] In the accompanying text, we imagine a conversation between the ragpicker and the composter that suggest different ways of living with transformation in the aftermath of a plastic era. When plastic materials started to be used they came with the modernist vision that technologies would rid us from restrictions posed by nature.[2] Plastic materials were used as alternatives to, for example, wood, glass and metal, which suggested a world without material scarcity. As a cheaper alternative they have often been used for disposable products meant for one-time-use only. And, at the same time as plastic is hard to mend, maintain and repair, due to the way it wears and tears, it generally doesn’t breakdown and decay as other non-industrial materials. Rather, it accumulates.[3] The text is a speculative fabulation,[4] but it draws on ethnographic material that has been produced during a series of public engagement events where we invited participants to explore two kinds of emerging hybrid matters that are related to plastics. The first hybrid matter is plastiglomerates,[5] which is a new kind of stone partly consisting of plastic debris coming from such varied sources such as fishing industry, leisure activities and mundane living. The second hybrid matter is common mealworms that can biodegrade Styrofoam.[6] In the first set of public engagement events, we invited people to walk along beaches in Finland and Iceland to look for plastiglomerates. In the second set of public engagement events, we invited people in Denmark and Sweden to use common mealworms to compost plastic waste in their home.
Link http://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/view/282 .Icon
Publisher Continent
Host/Issue Continent;1
Volume 6
ISSN 2159-9920
Language eng (iso)
Subject Ragpicker
Composting
Plastics
Humanities/Social Sciences
Research Subject Categories::INTERDISCIPLINARY RESEARCH AREAS
Handle http://hdl.handle.net/2043/25449 Permalink to this page
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