Rejuvenated junk enlivens San Francisco airport

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: August 21, 2013 1:22 pm ET
Updated: August 21, 2013 1:32 pm ET

Image By: SFO Museum This whale's tail made of wood, flooring adhesive, rope and polystyrene

Related to this story

Topics Sustainability

It's one piece of art among more than 100 in the terminal dedicated for United Airlines at San Francisco International Airport. But the life-sized Hummer made entirely of polystyrene sticks out.

"It's huge," said Deborah Munk, program manager for Recology's artist-in-residence program. "It's just so unexpected.

"No one expects to see a [PS] Hummer."

Recology, the San Francisco-based waste and recycling hauler for the city, is showcasing some of the best work from its 23-year program of letting local artists use the city's waste as a resource and inspiration for artwork. More than 100 pieces by 45 artists are on display through October, and all of them are made completely out of material being tossed out by residents of the city.

There are dresses made of bottles caps; a whale's tail made of wood, flooring adhesive, rope and PS; an evening gown made from the plastic bags used to deliver the daily newspaper; carnival masks made from found materials; and beautiful photographs of discarded items.

But everyone seems to come back to that Hummer, a complete replica of an H1, the original truck that hit American streets in the late 90s. The truck was a modified version of the military vehicle that was high on off-road ability, but extremely low on fuel mileage.

The PS version was created by artist Andrew Junge in 2005, and includes lumber and steel to support the foam.

"It appeals to a number of different groups," Munk said about the replica. "It appeals to the guys who like Hummers. It appeals to the environmentalists who understand the implications of polystyrene. And it just looks really cool."

Tim O'Brien, director of the San Francisco International Airport Museum, agreed the piece stands out.

"It's stunning. Not just because it's brilliantly conceived, but its execution," he said. "It's just a phenomenal piece."

The massive amount of PS took only a couple of weeks for the artist to gather, he said.

The museum is the only accredited museum inside an airport, and has 25 exhibits throughout the airport that rotate about every six months.

"I have a new favorite every time I come across a new piece," O'Brien said about the Recology exhibit. "When you see each of these artists, they've been inspired in such different ways, by the experience of seeing the waste stream up close and personal and seeing what's being disposed."

In addition to the Hummer, another visually stunning piece is "Last Dive at the Farallones," created by Ethan Estess in 2012. The work features a whale's tail diving into the ocean, Munk said.

"He was a student artist and a marine biologist who is really worried about what's happening to the ocean," she said. "And the piece is really all about the marine wildlife that gets wrapped in plastic. That one is a really powerful piece."

Munk said walking through the terminal it's really fun to watch passengers, especially kids, get excited about the art.

"The artwork stands alone. But when people start reading about it and find out that it's made of recycled materials from the San Francisco dump, it just adds a level of surprise and appreciation," she said.

"I think art can be a subtle but powerful teaching tool, so we hope the work we're doing at Recology is getting people to rethink how they consume, whether or not they recycle or compost."


Comments

Rejuvenated junk enlivens San Francisco airport

By Jeremy Carroll
Assistant Managing Editor

Published: August 21, 2013 1:22 pm ET
Updated: August 21, 2013 1:32 pm ET

Post Your Comments


Back to story


More stories

Image

Unilever puts Dove brand on a MuCell diet

April 23, 2014 1:57 pm ET

New technology employed by Unilever NV in the manufacture of bottles for its Dove Body Wash range of products could end up saving the brand owner up...    More

Image

TSM growing into a second generation of leadership

April 23, 2014 12:50 pm ET

This is a time of great growth for the Dundalk, Ireland-based TSM Control Systems, a company that has created a name for itself since 1977 by...    More

Image

Coffee roaster looks to improve footprint of single cup systems

April 22, 2014 1:30 pm ET

One of the largest coffee and tea manufacturers in North America has introduced a single-serve beverage capsule intended to curb the waste created by ...    More

Two Eastman buildings among 10 biggest energy savers in national contest

April 22, 2014 11:35 am ET

Two offices at the headquarters of Eastman Chemical Co. in Kingsport, Tenn., ranked in the Top 10 for energy efficiency in the latest Energy Star...    More

Europe's bag use still expected to climb despite possible bag restrictions

April 22, 2014 9:29 am ET

Ceresana, a Germany-based research company, has released a report forecasting that by 2020 the sales volume of bags and sacks in Europe will reach 9.1...    More

Market Reports

Market Data Book - Rankings & Lists

A one-stop download of Plastic News' exclusive annual lists and processor rankings containing essential data including sales, employees, end markets, materials and more.
EXCLUSIVE EXCEL FEATURE: full mailing address details for available plant locations.

Learn more

Thermoformed Packaging 2014 Market Review & Outlook North America

This in-depth report provides analysis and discussions of economic and political conditions, market trends, legislative/regulatory activity impacting supply and demand, business opportunities and threats, materials pricing, manufacturing technology, as well as strategies being implemented by thermoformed packaging companies. In addition, there are reviews of 25 leading thermoformers in the packaging segment, assessing their growth initiatives and performance metrics over 10 years.

Learn more

Mold Making and Tooling Review and Outlook 2014 North America

This report provides in-depth analysis of the mold and toolmaking market for North America, including discussions of trends, opportunities, threats, the latest developments in production and labor and equipment trends impacting moldmakers.

Learn more

Upcoming Plastics News Events

May 6, 2014 - May 8, 2014Plastics in Medical Devices 2014

May 12, 2014 - May 12, 2014Plastics News Brazil Pharma Summit

September 10, 2014 - September 12, 2014Plastics Caps & Closures 2014

February 3, 2015 - February 7, 2015Plastics News Executive Forum 2015

More Events