July 31, 2012

Illuminating Garbage to Raise Awareness About Plastic Bags

Who knew a trash bin could serve as more than just a container for garbage? Apparently Spanish art collective Luzinterruptus had a vision for this kind of thing when they created Plastic Garbage Guarding the Museum as part of the Oh, Plastiksack!exhibition at the Gewerbemuseum in the Swiss town of Winthertur.

The exhibition is intended to raise awareness about the use of plastic bags and their effects on the environment through artistic storytelling. According to the museum website, the indestructible objects “reflect consumer behavior, advertise status, reinforce identity, damage the environment and narrate our cultural history. At the same time, they are a symbol of our global society.”

To collect the more than 5,000 bags used in the installation, residents of Winthertur were invited to donate disposable bags in exchange for tickets to enter the museum. The artists then chose the most colorful bags, filled each one with air, and put a light inside to illuminate the surrounding area. As the perfectly placed colorful sacks evolve over time into shabby, worn objects, visitors will experience a visual representation of the damaging toll these indestructible consumer products take on the environment.

At the opening of the show, Luzinterruptus also introduced a large number of illuminated trash bag balloons. Visitors carried the objects around, decorating the sky with floating lights as they visited the exhibit.

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