Only 14% of plastic water bottles are recycled, and Americans add 30 million PET water bottles to landfills every day! Design firm MSLK has made its statement about plastic bottle use with Watershed, a series of bottle-droplets hanging in rain-like strings from a massive tree. The installation will be showcased at tonight’s Age of Stupid opening and will then travel to the D.U.M.B.O. Art Under the Bridge festival, carrying with it some hefty statistics about guilt and trash-making.
Maybe instead of trash cans, someday we’ll have sidewalk galleries. It would be a fitting receptacle for the mounds and mounds of eco-art created with trash as a medium. It’s fitting that the installation is opening for Age of Stupid, ’cause some of the statistics within make you feel straight dumb. For instance: 80 percent of water bottles end up in the landfill. Tap water is cheaper and cleaner. And of course, the bottles themselves poison the water with dioxins. It’s a good thing the arrangement of bottles is so pretty and meditative, ’cause your brain needs some time to think on these stats (and really appreciate your reusable water bottle).
MSLK is known for previously inundating visitors with statistics on plastic bag use with its installation 2663 Urban Tumbleweeds. It’s trash as conscience, trash as guilt personified, trash as Army of Inanimate Eco Warriors. If MSLK were your mom, you’d be making egg crate caterpillars (with pipe cleaner antennae, remember?), and training them to crawl on people who don’t reuse and recycle. I wonder what being grounded would be like.