"THE MEDIUM IS THE MENACE"
Shots taken in around Grahamstown over the fest this year, Its amazing how silly we are when we come to handling our waste... The old ways don't work any more...
We need to take into account the economical, then political, social and environmental factors, everything has value, what is waste for one is food for another. So therefore waste as a concept does not even exist!
But it does.
And, before we demonize plastic completely, we must not forget how much we need it! It assists us in our everyday lives. From medicine to technology it is itself an "indispensable" resource. The paradox becomes clearer still when we consider that plastics are derived from petroleum oil, the very fuel that we depend upon to maintain our modern societies needs and dreams.
I tried to deal with this duality with interventions at The Albany Science Museum and at Oatlands School, Grahamstown, National Arts Festival 2010.
Exploring the theme of waste by taking plastic to a vibrantly different level of art is Simon Max Bannister's objective for this festival. Putting this everyday substance under the spotlight to examine its luminescent properties, the mysterious nature of its afterlife and the sinister effects on society and the environment. Max is a roving Arkwork Collective artist pushing the boundaries of intervention transformation alchemy.
Shedding new light on this indispensable resource using discarded "waste", Max reminds us of the dangers and environmental risks that this material has brought to our modern era. For many years our waste has been buried, burnt or thrown "away". Finding its way through the water ways to the great ocean gyres, colossal vortex's of countless broken micro-plastics the size of South Africa that now drift aimlessly, outnumbering plankton 40 to 1 in some areas. These small particles enter the food chain carrying toxic compounds that we, through bio accumulation eventually consume.