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Ecological question

Garbage, My Plastic World



I returned to St.Petersburg from Estonia just before the quarantine started in February 2020, and, starting from May, the only possible way left to hand over different types of plastic for recycling was ordering an eco taxi. So plastic started to pile up in the house whilst in Europe, I used to utilize it every day.

During the quarantine, I started collecting garbage at home and taking it out once a month for recycling. Among paper, glass, metal and biowastes the most numerous kind of garbage appeared plastic, and it is the most long-lived one if it is not utilized properly. Monthly trash accumulated in carton boxes which lived their own lives swallowing any plastic thing.

Each month I dug layers of garbage out like an archaeologist studying the consistency of it and estimating my contribution into the plastic world. Every month I lost my collection and slowly refilled it again. Eventually, I have built my speculative reality from artefacts withdrawn from the boxes. I’ve created new objects using that junk – totemic animals and Calder’s mobiles. I was driven by a passion to resurrect disposable items giving them new qualities. According to Graham Harman’s object-oriented ontology (OOO), studying double polarisation between real and sensitive and objects and their qualities, objects exist independently from each other and human perception.

My sensitive objects mediated the separation of real qualities of garbage from the box and the appearance of new sensitive qualities. The miniature Universe, which I created, is a plastic hyperobject, in harmony with Timothy Morton’s dark ecology theory, like OOO. It highlights the objects beyond the anthropocentric existence. My Plastic World with its own cosmogony mythology is an alternative view on relationships of objects in nature which exist independently from humans but still are an inseparable part of our world.

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Yuriy Pavlov

Photographer, based in Saint-Petersburg. Photographic Education: 2018 - 2020. Personal courses by Ekaterina Vasilieva.

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