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The Three Machines of Loving Grace (2021)
This series is about single use plastic, from cradle (made from fossil fuel) to grave (chards and artifacts in the ground). Remember the opening scene from 1967 film, “The Graduate” with Dustin Hoffman? Ben, played by Dustin Hoffman, is asked by Joanne, one of the guests at his graduate party what he plans to do with his life and future post graduation. Mr. McGuire interrupts the two to offer some private paternal advise. He recommends the field of plastics because there is big money in plastics. Plastics did become big business. But like most economic/business plans it excludes the cost to the environment and health for all life forms. Plastics, particularly single use plastics, have become one of the biggest pollutants. The fossil fuel industry as partners in the plastic production industry also benefitted financially since plastic is made from fossil fuels. Now that oil industry faces existential crisis as the planet grows warmer and renewable energy becomes more common, oil companies are spending billions pivot to produce plastics. Consumers throw away the material as quickly as they purchase it with an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality. The United States cannot keep up with the amount of trash produced from plastics. In response they pay other countries, usually poorer countries, to take our trash who in turn dump most of it in the ocean and rivers. It is a vicious cycle to reduce any financial burden for taking environmental responsibility on the part of the plastic producers, increase producers revenue, and push the problem to other countries. Most of these pieces are 2D works on paper but some are 3D works made with paper mache. Some 3D words have audio sounds and others move robotically. Some works combine 2D and 3D works to display the plastic sculptures camouflaged against a flat background. These works represent the imperceptible plastic cycle.