Recyclotron: A Manhattan ride for a healthy planet

Through the first half of the 20th century, New York’s surrounding ocean served as the city’s primary site for waste disposal. “At one point, as much as 80% of New York’s garbage ended up out at sea; however, in what was surely its most enduring waste management initiative, New York City used some of its garbage (mostly ash, rubble, and other debris) to create artificial land, thereby increasing its own size.” (Guardian, Max Galka, 27 Oct 2016).

Using the “original” shoreline of Lower Manhattan as a starting point, Vačkář led riders along the perimeter of 1600’s New York. Eventually extending onto artificial land, Manhattan’s existing shore, the group traveled between predetermined stopping points, providing an occasion for collective reflection, conversation, and performance.

At each stop, participants were asked to wear garments, designed and produced by the artist, constructed with recycled trash bags, hygienically cleaned. Adorned in recycled waste,  several riders were asked to recite a dadaist poem (composed, in real-time, by the artist with the help of an algorithm) formed using of names of chemical substances found in common toiletries (ie. sunscreen, hand sanitizer, shampoo, etc). In addition to a roaming performance, Vačkář led participants in a discussion on the relationship between design, ecology, and recycling.

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