Production, Value and Consumption
Making art out of garbage might seem like an amusing gag, but questioning the value of cultural and social production is something artists do as much as they create beautiful things. Wim Delvoye‘s cloaca is an uncanny creature of mechanical consumption, literally excreting artistic treasures as biomechanical production.
Diane Borsato‘s transportation and celebration of a snowbank in Toronto embodies a way of seeing how we performatively inscribe value onto the materials around us.
Making art in the “world’s largest trash city,” Vik Muniz generates larger-than-life portraits from mountains of everyday waste, while Natalie Jeremijenko builds a floating Environmental Health Clinic out of the same bottles we might find littering a beach on which to hold meetings and consultations about water systems as a shared commons.
Joshua Allan Harris turns worthless plastic bags and valueless subway exhaust into compelling, moving creatures on city streets.
Allan McCollum‘s “labor-intensive practice questions the intrinsic value of the unique work of art. McCollum’s installations—fields of vast numbers of small-scale works, systematically arranged—are the product of many tiny gestures, built up over time.”