This project is authored and funded by New Grounds, a small startup company that mutually assists and disrupts the order of events found within natural decomposition. The mobile facility sets up shop and begins their process by wandering the surrounding half mile radius around the origin of their facility, rummaging through garbage and collecting area specific materials. Their primary objective is to transform abandoned and discarded waste into an accessible and measurable unit. The size of the unit holds material volume which in turn holds marketable value. Its a conceptual thought experiment attempting to present a physical version of what gathering, compiling, maturing, and materializing looks like.
Considering this a system, its conditions are subject to a futuristic, fictitious company that ill-mindedly believes their work is more than just futile exercise. Depending on what lens one choices to use they one may see two tracks that make up this project. First is the experimentation, implementation, and presentation of temporary and arguably practical design solutions. Second is a form of critique on first world tendencies of consuming and discarding both material and value at incalculable speeds that in itself inflicts damage on the system containing our habitats.
An assemblage of Hannah Arendt’s texts have informed many of the systematic decisions made throughout the development of this project. There are symbolic gestures to labor (the biological human make up) and work (the task of working to provide) through the task-oriented actions that are casted upon the employee who is tasked to produce at least one hundred cubes per day throughout the duration of their tenure. In response to her text, The Human Condition, engagement embodied by the worker while adapting and adjusting to site specific materials are thought experiments. They are implemented to embody what Arendt coined as the vita activa (these phrases might need to be in italics, but I am not sure so you might want to look up a scholarly article about Arendt to see how these phrases are styled). On the contrary, time spent considering the speculative and fictitious outlook towards this scenario could be seen as encouraging the vita contemplativa, where we begin to religiously consider New Grounds and the potential implications.
There are deliberate references to two works of science fiction; Richard Fleischer’s 1973 film Soylent Green and M. T.Anderson’s 2002 The Feed. Consumer choices are symbolically critiqued through the reprocessing of materials. These cubes do not literally possess binary, archivable information, but are conceptual and symbolic gestures that attempt to hint at how our inhaling of things and exhaling of waste acts as a major part in a larger indexical system. These physicalized cubic inch receipts act as the index to our post humanistic tendencies.
written on February 13th, 2018 by Andrew Noble