Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created

Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created

Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created

Hundreds of extinctions have been caused by invasive alien species. The ecological cost is the irretrievable loss of native species and ecosystems.  - WWF

Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created

The way in which plastic waste accumulates and destroys has a distinct form.

Two years ago I began hand-sewing linen shrouds around single-use plastic containers.  They are used to transport products that last a moment compared to these containers’ lifespans. Through my research and my enshrouding, I came to see these objects not as collective trash, but as individuals, aliens if you will, that would long outlive me.  

They are like a living virus invading our bodies and planet: poisoning, entangling, strangling, starving and supplanting

 

The Fog Warning

The Fog Warning

The Fog Warning

His frail boat rides like a shell upon the surface of the sea…the stealthy fog enwraps him in its folds, blinds his vision… afloat in a measureless void.                                                   The Fisheries of Gloucester, 1876

 

The Fog Warning

The Fog Warning focuses on the effect of plastic on the oceans.  Plastic is non-biodegradable so every bit of plastic created will exist forever, continuing to break down, like the immense gyres of plastic in the oceans are degrading into a micro-particle fog.

As with the discarded small appliances, I enshroud discarded small appliances. In both instances the tightly stretched linen banishes the illusion of busy purposefulness, leaving behind an unusual matte solidity...and quiet.

While researching my another project Ghost Salmon, I read about the Atlantic cod fishery, including the traditional east coast fishing boat - the dory.  In this case dories represent a time before factory ships and the devastation of fisheries worldwide.

Two full-size dories will be constructed of birch bark and filled with enshrouded single-use plastic containers.  One dory and contents will remain white - in mourning for the oceans and fisheries.  The one and contents will be stained black, to mark the ongoing radiation continuing to leak into the Pacific, as a result of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.

Though dories were never made of birch bark, I chose to use it for their construction, as birch bark is a natural material that symbolizes a pre-plastic sustainable culture.

 
Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created   - detail

Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created   - detail

  

 

 

Plastic is the Alien Invasion We Created                           begun 2015                

  • discard single-use plastic containers
  • used linen

 

   photographs
Sophia Burke

 

 

The Fog Warning - detail

The Fog Warning - detail

 

 

 

The Fog Warning - study                                                2015                

  • discard single-use plastic containers
  • discarded corrugated cardboard
  • used linen

 

   photographs
Anna Gustafson