A group of volunteers did a river sweep clean-up last week at the Falls of the Ohio. Our June has been brutally hot and I can see how trying to clean up the park would be a daunting task…there’s just so much that needs picking up. I did document some of their efforts which I now present to you. I suspect that most of this stuff is now landfill bound.
I know it may seem odd to present photographs of bags of trash in a blog that tries to concern itself with art, however, if we can view this act of cleaning up as an aesthetic act…than I think we can say we are making some progress. I realize we are used to thinking of conventional art in aesthetic terms, but that life-enhancing quality that the term “aesthetic” embodies is often best seen in other actions. Although I wasn’t part of this coordinated effort to clean this stretch of the river, I still show up regularly and try to do what I can using what I know how to do! On this adventure, I had a friend who assisted me in picking up a few things.
Among the items we found this day included our second snowman of the year! It’s a little container of some sort. After taking its picture, I popped this beauty into my collecting bag. It will probably show up again in one of my Christmas cards.
Among my more popular blog entries is my pages section where I feature my Found Fruits and Veggies Collection. Currently, the physical collection is on display at Oldham County. Soon I will need to update those photos featured in this blog because I keep finding more stuff all the time. When I’m in the field, this material is presented by the river in a very causal way. Here’s a picture of my latest plastic orange in situ.
The figure accompanying me isn’t very large, but he’s a hard worker. I snapped this image as he was picking up plastic bottles. It was just so darn hot that I was on the edge of what I can deal with in terms of humidity. My clothes by this time are just plastered to my body making me feel that much warmer. I have been better about carrying water with me when I come out here on particularly hot days. My friend, however, had fewer complaints than I did. He just worked at his own pace.
Despite everyone’s best efforts and intentions…the river clean-up just scratched the surface. There is just so much garbage in the world which I suppose is also an indicator of material richness…from affluence to effluence! That sounds like a good title for a future post. Unfortunately, you just can’t get all the trash and if you could…the river would just deliver fresh debris the next time another flood happens. We need to be better at getting this stuff at its sources. Still, we shouldn’t surrender and I know I won’t. The planet is just too important a place to give up on!