landfills

2020 | with zeke jones

What happens when the landfill, as a formal system of waste concealment and disposal at multiple scales, collapses to force individual responsibility? This project seeks to connect our ritualistic cultural behaviors with trash and the policies and industry pressures that shape them. The potentials and pitfalls of decentralized waste management as a collective civic act will be presented through a free special edition newspaper’s coverage of the Austin World’s Fair of 2040.

 

Centralized industrialization of garbage disposal and acts of concealment limit individualized engagement with waste streams, and perpetuate harmful effects of anthropocentric thinking regarding the use of resources. However, these systems have always been designed through the subjective lens of an episteme, meaning they are a cultural byproduct beyond their sanitary practicality. Failure of City of Austin policy goals to reach zero waste benchmarks is the catalyst for systematic and spatial change.

The outcomes and implications of the bureaucratic instruments leading to the fair will be illustrated through a newspaper consisting of contrasting opinions that frame post-anthropocentric utopias and dystopias. The newspaper will demonstrate relationships between resources and the entities that have the power to change them while avoiding a singular objective truth. Co-operative neighborhood waste facilities, appropriation of the alley, and new forms of national park reframe the typically heroic attention of the fair through the reclamation by the city and community of a 70 billion dollar monopolistic industry.