Lake Hiawatha (Anthropocenic Midden Survey)

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Lake Hiawatha (Anthropocenic Midden Survey)
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Lake Hiawatha (Anthropocenic Midden Survey) says
This surface survey will display 10% of the total of extracted items from this 21st century urban midden site.

Sandbox Theatre
September 11th 5-9pm
3109 42nd street
Minneapolis, MN 55406
In the future, when this culture is looked at in retrospect, they will find our plastic. Today, archaeologists learn about ancient cultures by studying their middens... where they put their garbage. Lake Hiawatha is our midden. In this exhibition you can study our culture as the archaeologists of the future will see it; snack wrappers, plastic bottles, cigarillo tips, syringes etc. What will they think of us?

Sean Connaughty has removed 69 large bags of trash from Lake Hiawatha. 6 of those bags of trash were sorted, examined, and for example, included 435 plastic straws in the survey (representing 5,000 plastic straws in the total collected). These all came from our streets and are but a small sample of the totality of our trash output carried from the streets directly to our watershed. At this rate at least 25,000 straws will enter the lake within 5 years. Sean has been working with colleagues to sort and examine the 6 bags of trash. A 10% sample that reveals useful and fascinating data about our urban 21st century culture and our patterns of consumption. The data gathered from this sample is extrapolated to determine the number of each item that Sean removed in his entire cleaning activity. As another example, Sean removed in total 359 Snickers bar wrappers. In five years 1,798 snickers wrappers alone will enter the lake, this is but one of the hundreds of brands represented in the survey. The display also includes hundreds of curious, one of a kind objects that were removed.

The exhibition will examine the history of the lake and will highlight the wildlife that makes its home there. There is a vital ecosystem that has managed to survive there despite the adverse conditions.

It is the artist’s hope that this exhibition can mark the end of an era of neglect for the lake, and the beginning a clean and healthy Lake Hiawatha. The exhibition coincides with important meetings that will address the future of the lake and the possibility of infrastructure change. The exhibition will provide ways for you to help improve the situation.

Craig Johnson, sustainability designer
Annette Walby, artist and landscape architect
Carol Nordstrom, archaeology
Amy Dritz, action, proactive solutions, design
Andy Powell, design
Peter Fetsch, design
Jason Loeffler, design

This exhibition is supported by neighborhood businesses: Repair Lair, Angry Catfish Bicycle and Coffee Bar, Mend Provisions, Nokomis Pet Clinic, Hudson’s Hardware, May Day Cafe, Southside Shiatsu, Busters Bar and Grill and others
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