Sunday, July 31, 2011

What have I got myself into

If you ever thought your living room was sad, just take a look at 12 hours of plastic bag sorting, cutting and organizing.

Helper from the Gods

Chris and I started at 9:30 am.

This is me steadily working!

Thank the Gods for Chris Conant!

I'm pretty sure I will be up all night...

Friday, July 29, 2011

Technique of sheeeeeeeep BAHH!

Well, after a few cups of coffee and being left alone in the house for a few hours I finally got started working on the sheep.

It's hard to get started but once I do its a bit easier for this reason:

There is something about it that makes me get through all the crap work I need to do. It always has, for example photoshop is my enemy. I hate it. I hate working with it and organizing all my photos into a concise portfolio. So when I do I blast this website in the schools computer lab and take breaks on trolling on Omegle.

But I'm not at school and instead of Omegle, I am updating this blog, trying to convince myself that this is somewhat beneficial while debating if I should order Chinese.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ba Ba Plastic Sheep

Here is my version of a nursery rhyme we all know:

Ba Ba plastic sheep,
have you any wool?

Yes, sir. Yes, sir

One for the ocean,
One for the plains,
And one for the little boy,
Who cries down the lane.

Finding bags and making them into stuff

Finding plastic bags that no one wants can be hard sometimes.

I'm pretty sure I have asked everyone in the art building at SIUE for plastic bags and I still continue to come up short. How can people only have 5 of them packed away? Am I really that bad of a person that I had 100s shoved under the kitchen sink?

So I asked my friend Scott, who happens to work at a grocery store with a plastic bag recycling program, to help me get more. There have been a few times that I went without Scott's help and ended up with strange responses. First time I asked a teenage boy pushing carts back to the store, who was probably stoned, if he could help me get some of the recycled bags. He blankly looked at me, so I repeated myself and dropped Scott's name to help move things along. He immediately agreed and took off into the store without telling me what the hell he was doing. So I followed him into the store, threw the wrong entrance, passed all the confused check out line workers, passed the service desk and around to the other exit. Opps. I didn't know what he was doing so I blinded tried following him and made myself look like a weirdo in the process. He was waiting for me outside with a HUGE stack of brand new plastic bags that he swiped while walking the wrong way. I didn't see him, the manager didn't see him and it would have been brilliant, except for the fact that I asked for used bags, not news ones. I was now almost contributing to the problem by using new bags, but this teenager had just put all that effort to get me them. So, I figured beggars can't be choosers and I took 'em and drove away.

Another exploration of me getting bags independently was when I thought I asked a sweet old lady who was working at the service desk for the used plastic bags. She looked at me funny and then called the Assistant Manager. Now I have a theory on Assistant Managers, they are not there yet, someday they will reign on the minions beneath them, but until that rightful day they will be bastards to those who question their influence and power. So when the old lady asked if I could have the bags the immediate answer was no. Why? Because of health reasons. Oooohhhhhhh how ProFesSiOnal Mr. Assistant Manager. I understand that you have been studying the OSHA test booklet every night before bed, because some day you WILL become the General Manager of a grocery store. But I am not using these materials in traditional ways. What did you think I was going to do with them? Eat them? WFT? So I told the old lady to call him back and say I was using them for a sculpture on campus for SIUE and that Scott has given them to me before. I figured that would work, I'm not only name dropping but I am stating my purpose which I thought was quite respectable. She called and explained, he said no again. I got angry and walked out, but not before stealing a few bags out the door :-)

When I look at my donations I like watching what stores they go to. I admit, it's a bit voyeuristic of me but I look at where they shop, if they leave receipts or take them out, if they fold them or tie every single one in tiny little knots.

So I have a few big bags now. Horray! Scott is the best and after my adventure with the all mighty Assistant Manager, he came by at 3pm later that day and told me to meet him in the parking lot.

Here are some pictures:

- This is the techniques I have been playing with. It's a mix of hook latching and everyones favorite Pinata technique we all learned sometime in Elementary school. That technique will never leave me.....ever....

Here is my poor living room with coffee cups, donuts, and bags EVERYWHERE.

Also! I want to take my sheep on a road trip before I install them on campus. Does anyone have any suggestions of places where plastic bag sheep would graze? I was thinking either a place where it is heavily trashed and or places where consumerism prevails. I would like to hear your thoughts.


In the beginning...

.....there were plastic bags shoved underneath my sink and it pissed me off. Why did I horde them? Why couldn't I stop using them when I went grocery shopping or got take out? Even now when I hand out bags at the fast food restaurant I work at I think," Does this person really need a styrofoam container AND a plastic bag to carry food back stocked with plastic silverware sets wrapped in more plastic with extra paper napkins to shovel a greasy meal they will devour in 10 minutes or less.

But, I am a hypocrite. I have to say before I made art about plastic bags, the only use I had them was as follows: 1. liner for the little waste basket in the bathroom; 2. a bag for dog/cat poop collection; 3. carrying my lunch to school when my lunch box smelled icky.

So why sheep? Well, I originally wanted to do the Maori of Easter Island with the plastic bags, but I was told that not as many people would relate to them as well as something that we could all figure out in second. So sheep it was, we are sheep, everyone else is sheep, we all know what it means, I just need to get these bags out from under my sink, now..

I drew sketches...