Trash Club's Fall 2020 programming includes a mixture of virtual tours, multiple speaker series, teardowns and more. Zoom Link: here.
Co-founder Morgan Mueller will be presenting his own research from his master’s thesis:
“The nuclear fuel chain is a complex and often opaque process which involves actors from multiple scales. National governments vie for the right to extract uranium across the global south while laborers face the toxic aftermath of extraction. Western Countries are not truly distanced from the disastrous processes used to create their energy, the nuclear fuel chain has created a global entanglement where power, in multiple senses of the word, is not distributed equally. By creating a series of artifacts around the global nuclear fuel chain, I introduce complexities of the nuclear world’s political ecologies through supply chain mapping. I look at knowledge gaps and colonial power dynamics through the use of publicly available records and satellite imagery. Finally this project looks at the current nuclear waste landscape and proposes a reimagining of the above ground spent nuclear fuel cask as the apparatus for the memorialization of nuclear waste.”
Billion Oyster Project offers public school students, volunteers, community scientists and restaurants the opportunity to learn about New York City’s rich oyster history and lead the movement to restore it. Since 2015, Billion Oyster Project has operated a Shell Collection Program, which gives restaurants an opportunity to not only divert shells from landfills, but also to reclaim this valuable resource for the restoration of oyster reefs. In the next 5 years, we hope to use those shells to help us restore 100 million oysters to New York Harbor. Plus, we are currently piloting oyster setting processes that will allow us to scale to 25 million oysters per field season by 2024.
Charlotte Boesch graduated in 2018 with an MA in Food Studies from NYU Steinhardt. She is currently the Shell Collection Program Manager of the Billion Oyster Project, a nonprofit organization on a mission to restore oyster reefs to NY Harbor through public education initiatives. At Billion Oyster Project, Charlotte managers the day-to-day logistics and partnerships for the Shell Collection Program. Charlotte is passionate about creating a more sustainable and equitable food system, and excited to work at an organization that reuses restaurant waste to help restore New York Harbor.
We are delighted to host Common Ground Compost (CGC) at our Speaker Series on Friday. Trash Club has worked on number of projects with CGC over the past few months, and we look forward to growing our collaboration in the future. A little bit more about them in their own words:
We are a NYC business that helps divert food scraps from landfills: we are a zero waste consulting company, we run zero waste events (when not in a pandemic), and we collect food scraps by bicycle in Manhattan through our Reclaimed Organics program.
We advocate for expanded, equitable access to organics recycling for all New Yorkers, and we believe that organics should be treated as a valuable resource that can help reduce the cost of waste export, reduce the negative impact of waste infrastructure on overburdened communities, and educate all individuals about the steps they can take every day to improve the state of our planet for future generations.
Meredith Danberg-Ficarelli is the Director of Common Ground Compost LLC. She is Member At Large of the Manhattan Solid Waste Advisory Board, is a member of the Institute for Local Self Reliance’s Community Composting Coalition, is a board member of the US Composting Council, is a co-founding member of the NYC Microhaulers and Processors Trade Association, and was recognized by the New York State Association for Reuse, Reduction, and Recycling with the 2019 Recycling Leadership Award.
Jesi Taylor Cruz is the Waste Impact Administrator at Common Ground Compost. She is a doula, poet, herbalist, freelance journalist, and researcher whose primary areas of interest are Critical Race Theory, genocide studies, discard studies, environmental justice, and political theory.
William Klimpert is the Data and Systems Analyst at Common Ground Compost. As an avid nature enthusiast with a background in plant biophysics, he seeks to use data and technology to increase the accessibility of sustainability initiatives.
Ingrid Burrington writes, makes maps, and tells jokes about places, politics, and the feelings people have about both. She’s the author of Networks of New York: An Illustrated Field Guide to Urban Internet Infrastructure. Ingrid will be detailing her current research into mining tailings and more specifically the burgeoning economy of extracting rare earth materials from tailings created at coal mines across Appalachia. There are many contrasts to this process; from the financial support that this new form of work could give to support local economies to the environmental contamination imposed by tailings potentially being made worse. A few suggested readings will be sent out before the talk for everyone to unpack together during the second half of the talk.
Cy Kim is a designer with a specialization in fabrication research. Bobby Esposito is a licensed architect with expertise in digital fabrication, virtual environments and computational design. Cy and Bobby will be talking about their design work as well as their Plastic Pavilion research project that sought to prove the potential of a material that is usually considered waste. They researched, consulted experts, experimented, figured out a process for re-purposing polypropylene cups and built an inhabitable pavilion. Regarding Plastic Pavilion, Cy has written that “the main issue with plastic waste is that it is imperishable, whether it is in a landfill, ocean or elsewhere. In a different context, this can be an advantage.”
Interference Archive will be hosting a virtual walk through of their climate justice exhibition and talk a little about the archive and the materials they collect.
A Visual History of Climate Justice is an exhibition that includes a collection of archival prints documenting the historical struggles that gave birth to the current climate justice movement. These materials—from the anti-nuclear movement, Indigenous sovereignty movement, Black liberation struggles, the farmworker justice movement, and more—illustrate that the climate movement is made of many movements and one that encompasses many terrains of struggle.
Please note that this workshop requires advance registration on Eventbrite, as participants will receive workshop materials by mail.
The E Waste 2.0 Team invites participants to dive into “e” wastes in progress with special attention to logistics infrastructure. Drawing from Jennifer Gabrys’ observation that, “…the margins where trash is shifted or held are not necessarily sharply delineated but overlap and intersect. Electronics are left on curbsides and in skips, packaged in closets, bundled up in warehouses. These peripheral sites are often actually central but invisible,” this workshop is formulated to work with and through practices and processes of selection, refinement, enclosure, obfuscation, and disappearance that form the materiality and performative capacity of e waste as it moves through historical and political lineages of mobility. Rather than tear down or break apart one discarded object through which to conduct an investigation, we will treat global discard systems as the overarching object through which we can study via fragments. These fragments include materials, objects, and packages at different stages within the discard pipeline. Together we will try to orient ourselves within the confusion and chaos of these systems through exercises like sorting, somatic movement, and playful discussion.
Dave Marin is an artist, designer, fabricator, model maker, and professor. As an artist he builds and photographs scale model dioramas. As a Professor of Modeling Technology, he teaches design and making in the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons School of Design. Dave explores materials and manufacturing processes, scales of production, and integration of digital fabrication with traditional making methods. His making and material research is focused on the recycling and reuse of waste, investigating plastics and biopolymers. In all his work Dave uses technologies combined and borrowed from art, design, and manufacturing blending philosophies of making understanding that creativity is the act of combining what has not been yet assembled.
Tiri Kananuruk and Katya Rozanova have spent their time during lockdown exploring what domesticity means to them, as female sound artists. Previously unoccupied with matters of domesticity and its patriarchal connotations, they have found themselves in constant contact with domestic rituals and efforts. They have spent the past few months accumulating discarded packaging and transformed these into ‘garbage instruments’, which they have combined with curious and long-forgotten kitchen artefacts, located in the back of recently rediscovered cupboards. Through the combining of these instruments, Tiri and Katya created a saucepan symphony which invited the audience to both reimagine a new, playful domesticity, and acknowledge our continual dependency on the essential workers who tirelessly make, pack and provide the very objects from which this piece is made. In exploring our connection to these workers, the artists embody an awareness of the social-fabric that sustains us, and invite the audience to do the same.
Julia Rich (they/them) is an interdisciplinary artist and educator living and working in Los Angeles, CA. Currently, they are an educator for UCLA’s Geffen Academy and help run their makerspace, as well as teach fabrication, project management, programming, and physical computation. Outside of UCLA, Julia creates art and workshops exploring gender identity, transformative arts practices, and community building. In this workshop, Julia will be demonstrating sustainable practice for prototyping with found items and cardboard, shifting the framework of what might be considered “trash”.
Ever wondered about what happens to the things we recycle in NYC? Find out at the Sims Municipal Recycling Facility virtual tour. At Sims, you can see how our recycled material is acquired, broken down, filtered, categorized, and then sold for reuse. The facility opened in 2003, and is the first of its kind in NYC, sorting through about 500,000 tons of metal, glass, paper, and plastic each year. More information about Sims can be found here.
Julie Lizardo is a second year student at NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program [ITP] and a course assistant at NYU’s Department of Computer Science. One of her life-long goals is to promote computer science education as well as sustainable practices in disadvantaged and underrepresented communities. This past spring, she participated in the Biodesign Challenge Summit 2020 with her project, Amber. Amber is a plant-based, waterproof biomaterial made out of rice husks and pine resin. It provides a natural alternative to plastic as well as gives agency to Hispanic and Latino community members to help eliminate food waste in their daily practices. You can learn more about Amber here, and at our speaker series.
In remembrance of 9/11 and its aftermath, Trash Club will be screening an oral history interview of Martin Bellow, one of the NYC Department of Sanitation leaders in charge of the city’s response. Martin oversaw the process of removing the debris from the World Trade Center and transporting it to Fresh Kills Landfill on Staten Island. The series comes from NYU Professor Robin Nagle’s 2011 graduate seminar, Oral History, Labors of Waste, and the Value of Knowledge, .
Every Other Wednesday at 8p ET, beginning Wednesday, September 9 We are launching our inaugural book club to give our members the opportunity to read something that is both longer and greater in depth together. We will begin with Toxic Communities by Dorceta E. Taylor. In this text, Taylor offers a portrait of the environmental justice movement, illustrating how minorities, the poor, and marginalized groups suffer injustices at the hands of profit-seeking businesses and government. Taylor utilizes economic theories, social justice critiques and specific case studies to traverse the contours of environmental racism. We will discuss chapters 1 & 2 this Wednesday.
The workshop is focused on examining and practicing the deconstruction, maintenance, repair, and repurposing of electronics. Our session will consist of a live teardown led by NYU ITP alumni Jasmine Soltani and Aaron Parsekian. The second half of the workshop will be focused on investigating the origins, materials and geographical implications of the components within the disassembled device. Through this investigation we will better understand the complex and global supply network involved in the making of our digital devices.
The text that we will discuss and refer to in our teardown sessions include:
Maintenance and Care
Steven J. Jackson
For this workshop, please bring in a strange object to investigate and document. By strange object we mean objects that don’t belong (or would be harmful) in a landfill but also don’t fit into the recycling categories of cardboard, plastic, paper, and metal. During this workshop, we will research, write and visualize the process of how our chosen strange object can best be recycled or reused, if at all. We will first research how this object is typically thrown away and its impact in landfills, then we will search for more ecological ways of discarding this object. This week’s workshop will be covering the following text:
Sorting Things Out
Jeremy Walker, Melinda Cooper
The Abominations of Leviticus
Artist and writer Bassem Saad will be joining us for our June 5 reading club. His work explores objects and economies that distribute violence, pleasure, care, and waste. This week’s reading discussion will specifically be covering the following text:
Genealogies of Resilience: From Systems Ecology to the Political Economy of Crisis Adaptation
Jeremy Walker, Melinda Cooper
No Entropy Cassandra 2020
On this virtual tour of Sims we’ll see how our recycled material is acquired, broken down, filtered, categorized, then sold for reuse. The facility opened in 2003 and is the first of its kind in NYC, sorting through about 500,000 tons of metal, glass, paper, and plastic each year. More information about Sims: here.
Marx and the Rift in the Universal Metabolism of Nature
John Bellamy Foster
Anatomy of an AI System
Kate Crawford and Vladan Joler