Garbage has a powerful presence in the North American urban landscape, but people tend not to take notice of it. There is little interest in what happens to garbage once it’s thrown into the trash can or onto the sidewalk.
North Americans are producing historically high rates of urban waste. The risks of throwing out massive amounts of garbage are well known- it’s a health hazard, it’s expensive to dispose of, and it turns acreages into wastelands. The photographic series 'I Think You Dropped Something' uses fashion, a symbol of affluence and consumerism, as a stepping stone to understanding and bringing awareness to our waste problem.
The work I’ve shot so far for 'I Think You Dropped Something' shows how urban waste can be transformed into something meaningful. Using stray garbage and some basic kitchen tools, I create wearable pieces and props that are modelled and photographed where they were originally found. The series highlights the existence of urban waste in a way that proposes positive transformation.
People use fashion to express their identity: they dress the way they want to be perceived. By wearing garbage, a person acknowledges that waste is part of their identity. Creating clothing out of something most people avoid and are genuinely repulsed by demonst-rates that trash can be transformed and renewed into something valuable and genuinely pleasing.
It may be overlooked, but garbage is a core part of our identities, just as much as our culture and heritage are. After we die, our waste will live on - by up to 1,000 years for some plastics. Garbage is an understated part of our collective legacy. 'I Think You Dropped Something' is a story about accepting and transforming today’s waste problem into something positive for future generations to interpret, utilize and learn from.