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Bibliography Presentation

Lydia Scott Networked Urbanism October 2013

Film: Wasteland
Explores Brazilian artist Vik Muniz’s project with the workers of Jardim Gramacho, Rio de Janeiro’s largest landfill

Filmed over a span of three years + released in 2010 to critical acclaim







David, The Death of Marat (1793)

Muniz, Marat (Sebastiao) (2008)

Critical Questions
How do we define “trash”? Is the definition of trash dependent upon culture? How can we think about re-defining what is “valuable”? How does “out of sight, out of mind” play a role in the way in which we view trash in every day life?

Book: Garbology
Edward Humes, 2012

Explores the role of trash in America, and the link between the economy and

Key Points and Questions
Current waste production statistics for the US: 7.1 lbs of trash/person/day 102 tons/person/lifetime 389.5M tons of MSW/US/year

How is trash intimately linked to the economy? Market failure vs. moral failure?

“It turns out our contemporary economy, not to mention the current incarnation of the American Dream, is inextricably linked to an endless, accelerating accumulation of trash.”

“The purchases that drive the markets, the products that prove the dream, all come packaged in instant trash (the boxes, wrappers, bags, ties, bottles, caps and plastic bubbles that contain products).”

“And biggest system flaw of all [...] is the disposable,wasteful mindset that creates the flow of trash in the first place. Rather than a problem specific to landfills or other santitation strategies, this is a flaw in how manufacturers create and consumers use disposable products.”

“Plastic has gone so fast from zero to omnipresent that it’s slipped beneath conscious perception.”

plastic & the oceans rise of the plastic bag polyethylene & fossil fuels

Outside Critiques
Argument relies partly on “environmental sensationalism”

Proposed European precedents may not apply to the US waste system Rich in social history, but lacking in supporting sources

Needs to be a larger public policy initiative