In addition to the trash, recycling, and compost bins at California College of the Arts, I distributed another bin to each of the 75 graduating fine arts students for the by-products of their work for the MFA Show. I then collected the contents of these bins weekly from March 16th to May 16th. I also gathered the excess material generated in this exhibition space during installation. Throughout the project, an undetermined number of bins were mistakenly emptied with the rest of CCA’s waste. The display at the 2013 MFA Show is the accumulated result of these efforts.
Intercepting and exhibiting these materials as art technically makes the 2013 MFA Show a zero waste event.
San Francisco aspires to be a “zero waste city” by 2020. Zero waste initiatives typically prioritize industrial recycling and landfill diversion, accepting discard as a necessary evil of production and consumption. Rather than focusing on what to do with waste once it already exists, are there ways to prevent waste in the first place? Are the industrial and personal changes required to achieve zero waste even possible?
By-Products of the 2013 CCA MFA Show is now on permanent display at the Altamont Landfill in Livermore with the rest of San Francisco’s waste.