What do we make of the objects that are no longer useful? In a culture that demand constant consumption , but also sustainability, how do we view the broken and unusable things in our lives? For one of my conceptual art assignments, #48: "Imagine an object as an orphan, create an orphanage," I kept an eye out for the things that are lost or thrown away. Some of these are objects that I have used or thrown away. It is strange to view them in this way. We often gain personal attachment to items because of sentimentality or nostalgia, but what happens when you are responsible for these objects that others deemed to be garbage? Perhaps this is borderline hoarding, but I can begin to understand why some people never throw anything away.
There is also another life behind this object. A person (whether physically or by operating a machine) made this thing we take for granted. It was their job to maintain production and create so we can consume. Thus there needs to be respect not only for the object, but for the person who to some extent made it. If we were to treat all objects with respect, perhaps it would be easier to recycle, more natural to us to try and sustain the environment. Of course, there will need to be some form of restraint, for if we all become hoarders then that impedes recycling. So the next time you see an object on the ground (and this is not an invitation or obligation to pick up the grossest thing you come across), take a moment to think about how and where it came from.
Open your mind, be brave, and be kind.
To See With One's Body and Soul
This blog documents all of my adventures, as well as my development into an artist, writer, and a better person.