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upCYCLED: "Who and What Are Waste?"

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fifteen hundred plastic drink bottles and 19 skateboards pulled from dumpsters throughout the Five College area became installation and performance art in the hands of 16 Hampshire College students during January term.

upCYCLED featured on Chronicle of Higher Education blog >>

Enrolled in a Design, Art, and Technology (DART) course, "Re-thinking Public Spaces, Re-purposing Everyday Objects, and Re-imagining Social Change," the students spent 10 to 12 hours a day, five to seven days a week, for three weeks conceptualizing, designing, building, and performing.

A lighted installation was constructed in the bus shelter at the center of campus. In a statement the students put together, they said:

"We chose the bus stop as our space, and plastic bottles as our primary material, and we developed a conceptual narrative that brings together themes of waste and war, plastic and water, visibility and labor, energy and public transportation. . . . [The bus stop] is a point of departure, arrival, transition, and movement—and therefore, inherently of change."

To make their process of production visible, the students made their entire design + build project into a performance, wearing "uniforms" of grey and white coveralls and neon orange hats. They documented their work in video.

The installation will remain in the bus shelter through the inauguration of Hampshire President Jonathan Lash on April 27. It will then move to another home, either as one art piece or in hexagonal sections, remaining permanently art rather than reverting to waste.

People are welcome to visit the bus shelter (on the main circle, Hampshire College) and see the installation.

Course instructors were alumna Beth Ferguson 96F of Sol Design Lab and Professor Jaclyn Pryor.

More about DART and this course >>

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