Conflux was a hell of fun and i’ll post more about it over the next few days. There were great talks, nice presentations of networked projects, fun performances, gadgets to play with or wrap around your body and tons of people i was delighted to finally meet. Here and there, while going from one venue to another, i’d meet artists whose projects put a broader smile on participants’ faces.
Gertrude Berg’s Waste Carrier project derives from her need to explore the trash disposal behavior in her neighborhood, Bushwick, Brooklyn.
She designed and crafted a dress in tyvek fabric with deep pockets to store different types of waste. During the performance she collected all the personal waste she produced, cleaned it and filled into the respective pockets. During the whole festival she wore this uniform to all occasions, except for sleeping. “My interest lies in the experience of the extra weight on my body accumulated by waste material that normally is put out of ones sight as soon as possible,” wrote Berg. I met her in front of Conflux HQ on a very sunny Sunday afternoon and no, the lady wasn’t followed by a bad smell.
I found the project particularly relevant here in the US. I know each of us produces way to much daily trash in Europe but it seems that every single item i buy here in New York comes with its own trash accessories. I’d buy a yoghurt and get a plastic spoon (sometimes wrapped in plastic!), a little bag to carry it and a mini napkin. There no question from the cashier whether i need any of those, it just comes with the yoghurt.