On October 9, 2011 a group of artists converged at the Revolution Recovery recycling center in Philadelphia to participate in the Recycled Artist-in-Residency program (RAIR). The resulting work is the Taxonomy of Trash.
The idea originated with the belief that beauty existed amongst the piles and needed to be collected, cataloged, photographed and recorded to allow their true beauty to come forward. The approach was to find and document objects that were beautiful without the need to be altered —sculpture that was made without any human intent. In a sense giving them their 15-seconds of fame.
Tim spent most of the day digging through the mountainous piles trying to find these jewels. As the objects were collected Carlos photographed them while Austen made sound recordings by installing microphones in the objects and then dropping, hitting, playing and warping them. The sounds have been used to create musical tracks that accompany the project. Raul documented the entire process and made video.
The finished photographs were sent to Stacey Dougherty, a biologist who categorized them following the principles of the Phylogenetic Tree of Life. This divided them into categories primarily based on the material compounds found in each object. This categorization shows the connections between the objects and their development.
Tim Eads, artist
Tim is an artist living in Philadelphia. He earned his M.F.A. from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His work has been featured in several exhibitions, most recently at the Museum of New Art in Detroit, Jolie Laide and Pentimenti Galleries in Philadelphia, and the Arthouse at Jones Center in Austin, Texas. He has served as a visiting lecturer of sculpture at the University of the Arts, Mercer County Community College and Penn State School of Visual Arts. Eads is currently a project technician and printer at The Fabric Workshop and Museum in Philadelphia.
Carlos Avendaño, photographer
Carlos was born and raised in Medellin, Colombia, and immigrated to the United States in 1986. In 1991, he relocated to Los Angeles to pursue a career in photography and motion pictures. Avendaño studied Cinema Theory at the Santa Monica College and Cinema Production at the Los Angeles City College.
Avendaño currently lives in Philadelphia, PA and works as a photographer and photo archivist at the Fabric Workshop and Museum.
Austen Brown, sound engineer
Austen Brown is a sound artist living and working in Philadelphia, holding a BA in Composition from the Evergreen State College. Having worked in music, video, theater, dance, and installation, he views sound as a malleable tool to express idea’s not inherently musical. Thanks to Tim Eads for bringing me along on the project, and to all the collaborators for their hard work and support.
Raul Romero, videographer
Raul Romero is an artist based out of Philadelphia, PA. He utilizes video, photo, and performance as a point of departure for collaborative explorations.
His videos document the growing artist community in Philadelphia,PA and give an intimate glimpse of the creative process behind the works being produced.
Stacey Dougherty, biologist
I have always had a passion for science and a desire to learn about the natural world around us. I graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a degree in biology and spent some time researching respiratory drug models at GlaxoSmithKline. I realized that I was more interested in environmental issues and went back to pursue a Master’s degree from Saint Joseph’s University. I am currently working as a laboratory instructor at Swarthmore College but hope to return to school to pursue a PhD in Conservation Biology. It has been an honor to contribute towards a project that brings awareness to our waste. It is humbling to be reminded of all the objects and materials we use on a daily bases that find their way to the trash. We never see or think of them again and it is encouraging to think that many of them can be recycled and reused for another day.
This project would not have been possible without the support of Revolution Recovery and the excitement of Billy Dufala at RAIR.