If you’re currently tearing your hair out with climate anxiety we have good news. Science Gallery Melbourne is hosting a new exhibition that proves that the literal flaming garbage piles of rubbish society creates need not be put to waste.
Disposable: Reimagining Your Waste brings together art, installations and events that aim to creatively address Australia’s (and the world’s) culture of excess and waste. Really, creativity is key to these works. Take the exhibition’s ‘Urinotron’ for example – this installation from French artists Gaspard and Sandra Bébié-Valérian takes urine and uses it to power electronic devices before recycling it back into water.
Other highlights include ‘Trash Robot’ (a remote-controlled robot that will be collecting rubbish from the Yarra); ‘Sewer Soaperie’ (where Chinese-Fillipina artist Catherine Sarah Young takes solid grease waste from sewers and turns it into soap); ‘Eel Trap’ (a ten-metre long biodegradable installation by Indigenous artists Maree Clarke and Mitch Mahoney sitting on the Maribyrnong River); ‘Plastivore’ (an installation showing how mealworms can eat styrofoam and turn it into compost) and ‘Pollution Pods’ (a series of airtight rooms that simulate the air in polluted cities like London, New Delhi and Beijing).
Artists Arne Hendriks and Mike Thompson will also be attempting to created Australia’s largest fat deposit or ‘fatberg’ (grease that is poured down the drain and soldifies in sewers). The largest ever fatberg found was in London in 2017, was roughly the length of two AFL ovals and weighed 130 tonnes. Hendriks and Thompsons attempt will be an interactive fatberg, with locals asked to contribute their waste fats to the work.
Those who’ve visited Science Gallery Melbourne’s previous exhibitions like Blood and Perfection will remember that the gallery’s permanent space is still being constructed (it’s due to be completed in 2020). That means Disposable’s program is located in several sites across Melbourne including University of Melbourne, Testing Grounds and Footscray Community Arts Centre. Visit the website for the full program and locations.