The Creative Road is a Winding Pathway

The past month I’ve been in residency at Governor’s Island, a 172 acre island in New York harbor, with Works on Water and Underwater New York, two organizations who focus on water as a point of departure to further examine ecological change and the city respectively. Continuing my work with plastic bags, my objective was to create a glacier-like structure out of bags and begin to develop ideas for the performance piece the glacier will be featured in, We Are Drowning. What I landed on surprised me, opening new pathways.

 The irony of messaging is intriguing - 42 bags used to create a plastic couple. 

The irony of messaging is intriguing - 42 bags used to create a plastic couple. 

Working in a house once home to military officers, I set up shop by hanging some open ended questions I’ve been asking as a departure point for this work in the space. Questions about consumption habits: What’s convenient? Who decides? What needs to happen for things to change? I decided to make these out of plastic bags, using lettering on the bags. This turned into a mini-installation and prompted me to ask more questions. How much is enough? What’s important? What’s the price? Who pays? I also began to think about how the striking data I’ve encountered could be represented, 1 trillion bags discarded annually, and misconceptions, the bags collected in recycling bins in stores aren’t recycled, they go to a landfill. This led to the creation of a visual piece incorporating the symbol typically associated with recycling and the words “Please reuse or recycle at a participating store” that are printed on many bags which, like the collection containers, misleads us to believe that they are being recycled, thus perpetuating their use.

 70 bags reclaimed to create Do You Feel Responsible...

70 bags reclaimed to create Do You Feel Responsible...

Concurrently, I was working on three prototypes for the glacier, each with a different aesthetic, polling people who came into the studio which of the three resonated most with them; the craggiest rough and tumble version that took the least amount of time to make was the favorite. This prototype will be expanded for the performance work.   

I think a lot about what surrounds a performance. What are the pathways in, interactions and experiences around it that connect and further the ideas in the work. What was created on Governor’s Island, I realize, does just this and I envision will be part of a lobby installation accompanying We Are Drowning. The creative road is a winding path and many times you don’t know where you’ll end up.