Waste stream philia

April 23, 2010 at 11:03 pm | In arts, ideas | 3 Comments

I had an opportunity to tour the Canadian Forces Base in Esquimalt today. It’s a two-hour 3-kilometer walking tour, full of history and heritage (one part of the base is from the late 19th/ early 20th century, featuring fully intact, carefully rehabbed brick buildings) and new initiatives (they’re finishing a building which will be the continent’s second-largest industrial Fleet Maintenance Facility – only Boeing‘s is bigger). We saw the HMCS Winnipeg, which features a sign next to the helicopter hangar door: “Winnipeg International Airport – Elev. 25 feet,” and we saw one of the horrible subs Canada bought from the UK, still in dry dock six years later.

But something else I saw really grabbed my attention: a large pile of stuff.

The other day, thinking about a public art project, it occurred to me that one could do something pretty interesting with material destined for the waste stream – I was thinking about this in relation to the “philias” I wrote about here.

With that in mind, here’s a favorite picture from today’s tour – not yet “garbage,” but it sure wouldn’t be difficult to find stuff as sculptural as this in any waste stream:


It’s not exactly what most people would take a photo of while touring a military base, but I was riveted by both the pile’s plasticity and by what the inert hoses, heaped next to the hard geometry of the building and the white cage-like tower, evoked.

Another photo:


  1. Indeed:


    Comment by robert randall — April 24, 2010 #

  2. Oh, right, of course! I was even there!
    (The kind of project I was thinking of earlier – when the pile of hoses caught my eye – wasn’t as deconstructed as Wendy’s, though. She really got into pulling things apart, which is cool. I was thinking of the stream from a very different perspective. But thanks for the reminder!)

    Comment by Yule — April 24, 2010 #

  3. Wonderful photos!

    Comment by melanieb — April 24, 2010 #

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