Wednesday, July 27, 2011

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.