Created on wordpress.

A HISTORY OF TRASH IN SIGHT is an interactive digital reconstruction of four decades of New York City public trash cans, containers that literally and figuratively held ideas about cleanliness and control in public spaces.

Screen Shot 2018-03-06 at 2.14.07 PM.png In bringing trash literally into sight, the containers and the objects inside explore definitions of public, power, and “trash.” Since the 1930s and the beginning of “public trash,” educational programs and campaigns formulated by white, “clean” privileged New Yorkers pushed an agenda of formulating and controlling an imaginary ideal public. These educational programs, communicated in various forms reflected structures of power that depended on labor, class, race, and gender.
In digital form, the project uses the surface of the screen to create a sanitized boundary between the viewer and the object, teaching viewers to look at trash as signs of the systems of value. The digital format also can be publicly shared and read, allowing more access than just those in the circles of academia.