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  • Lorelle VanFossen 10:13 pm on March 12, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , city garbage management, educational books, england, , historical trash, , london, municipal garbage, reading material, , uk, victorian   

    New Book: Dirty Old London: A History of the Victorians’ Infamous Filth 

    NPR Radio did a special report on the new book by Lee Jackson, “‘Dirty Old London’: A History Of The Victorians’ Infamous Filth.”

    In the 19th century, London was the capital of the largest empire the world had ever known — and it was infamously filthy. It had choking, sooty fogs; the Thames River was thick with human sewage; and the streets were covered with mud.

    But according to Lee Jackson, author of Dirty Old London: The Victorian Fight Against Filth, mud was actually a euphemism. “It was essentially composed of horse dung,” he tells Fresh Air’s Sam Briger. “There were tens of thousands of working horses in London [with] inevitable consequences for the streets. And the Victorians never really found an effective way of removing that, unfortunately.”

    In fact, by the 1890s, there were approximately 300,000 horses and 1,000 tons of dung a day in London. What the Victorians did, Lee says, was employ boys ages 12 to 14 to dodge between the traffic and try to scoop up the excrement as soon as it hit the streets.

    To the public health-minded Victorian, London presented an overwhelming reform challenge. But there wasn’t change until the city took over.

    “It takes decades for people to accept that the state perhaps has a role in how they manage their household, how they manage their rubbish, their toilet facilities even,” Lee says. “The state basically does intervene and it is that idea of a central authority that is actively concerned — what the Victorians would’ve called ‘municipal socialism.’ … That mission to improve people’s lives on a very day-to-day basis was carried on throughout the 20th century.”

    You can listen to the interview and read the interview highlights on NPR.

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  • Lorelle VanFossen 5:28 am on February 2, 2015 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , alice bradshaw, , artist, artwork, , environmental art, exhibits, galleries, , glossary, jargon, rubbish, rubbish artist, terminology, uk, ,   

    Alice Bradshaw: Rubbish Artist and Educator 

    Alice Bradshaw - Doodle - The Good Life - Apartment - April 2005 - photo courtesy of Paul Harfleet.

    Alice Bradshaw – Doodle – The Good Life – Apartment – April 2005 – photo courtesy of Paul Harfleet

    Alice Bradshaw, a prize-winning artist and academic specializing in rubbish and trash. Her work has been featured in museums, galleries, and festivals throughout the UK and Australia.

    Alice Bradshaw describes herself this way:

    I work with a wide range of media and processes involving the manipulation of everyday objects and materials. Mass-produced, anonymous objects are often rendered dysfunctional caricatures of themselves, addressing concepts of purpose and futility. I create or accentuate subtleties, blurring distinctions between the absurd and the mundane, with the notion that the environment the work exists in becomes integral to the work itself.

    Rubbish: A Research Project is study project by Rubbish by Bradshaw that is a long time study project. She shares her studies on the various forms of rubbish including crap, debris, detritus, dirt, discards, junk, leftovers, litter, refuse, rejects, shit, ruins, and others. Each one features a definition and quotes, citations, and references that may be of value to you and your classes.

    On the topic of garbage she shares:

    “I use the word ‘garbage’ […] because I think it’s really recognizable to people. I think that’s what most people call their waste or their discards. That’s why I use it; it’s not a statement of my political or ideological stance on the issue of discards. A lot of people feel very strongly about choosing the right word, and I really respect where that comes from. I think that what we call the things we throw away is very important and it does relate to the way that what we throw out is constructed as dirty and not okay to touch or to consider as having value or being a resource.”
    Heather Rogers – Gone Tomorrow: The Hidden Life of Garbage (2005) The New Press.

    “A Dump: The whole world, everything which surrounds me here, is to me a boundless dump with no ends or borders, an inexhaustible, diverse sea of garbage. This whole dump is full of twinkling stars, reflections and fragments of cultures.” […] A dump not only devours everything, preserving forever, but one might say it continually generates something: this is where some kind of shoots come from for new project, ideas, a certain enthusiasm arises, hopes for rebirth of something, though it is well-known that all of this will be covered with new layers of garbage.”
    Ilya Kabakov – Documents of Contemporary Art: The Archive (2006) p.32/37

    “Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit. Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.”
    Guy Debord – Formula for a New City, The Incomplete Works of the Situationist International, ed. Christopher Gray (1974)

    “A newspaper that you’re not reading can be used for anything; and the same people didn’t think it was immoral to wrap their garbage in newspaper.”
    Robert Rauschenberg in interview with by Dorothy Seckler, Archives of American Art (1965)

    Her other projects include:

     
  • Lorelle VanFossen 6:41 am on October 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: abstracts, , , , , , excess, , forms of excess, , , , , literature, uk, , , workshop   

    Call for Abstracts on Forms of Excess in Post-1960 Art, Film, and Literature 

    Discard Studies announced a call for abstracts on the topic of “Forms of Excess in Post-1960 Art, Film, and Literature” for the University of York in the UK with a February 2015 deadline, followed up with a special event workshop and exhibits.

    This appears to be an open request, and it comes with some interesting topic ideas, many of which may apply to our Garbology campus and classroom projects.

    Visual art, film, and literature since 1960 has been marked by leftovers, repetitions, and time lags, despite emerging in a climate of accelerated technological development and the erasure of leisure time. From artworks that incorporate the trash and detritus of consumerist excess to novels and films that indulge in narrative ‘time-wasting,’ the cultural production of the last fifty years has revelled in the wasteful and excessive. This event asks: what are the aesthetics of excess? What are its material, temporal and figurative manifestations? Is artistic time-wasting a radical form of resistance to the capitalist imperative to be productive? Or do art’s glorious expenditures reinforce aesthetic hierarchies that privilege ‘difficulty’? We invite 20-minute papers from postgraduates and early-career researchers that engage with waste and excess in post-1960 art, literature, and film. Possible topics include (but are not limited to) the following:

    • Narrative: digressions; footnotes and marginalia; listing; repetition; the non-event; the filler; reality effects
    • Queer theory: the concept of the queer subject as embodying non-(re)productivity; queer temporalities; drag and camp as recycling
    • The body: labour; time-wasting and protest
    • Feminism: the gendered dynamics of lack and excess
    • Economic surplus: abstraction; financial markets; concepts of utility and value
    • Digital waste: big data; information overload; archive fever
    • Cold War politics: nuclear waste; abundance and wasting as critical tactics
 
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