Plastic Is Land, 2018 Digital photographs (in the laboratory) “This machine here is made from mother earth. It has a spirit of its own. This spirit probably hasn’t been recognized, and given the right respect that it should. When we work in a world of automated things, we forget that… everything is sacred, and that includes what we make.” Shawn Wilson, Research is Ceremony (2008) Plastic is Land are intimate plastic landscapes encountered during laboratory work. The photos show how plastic pollution, […]
Sea globes, 2013-2014 Ocean plastics, historical landfill, New York City kitschSmall globes: 3 1/2″ x 2 1/2″ diameter Large globe: 7 1/8″ x 6″ diamter This series of sea globes are genuine New York City souvenirs. The plastics came from the Hudson River in south Brooklyn, and the rocks are made of bituminous coal from in a landfill that closed in the 1930s at Deadhorse Bay, which now resides underwater at high tide, also in south Brooklyn. The snails are […]
Hudson River Plastics, 2015 Digital photographs These images are part of a larger series called Seeing Like a Scientist. In July 2015, the SEA Change expedition trawled the surface of the Hudson River. Between the Statue of Liberty and the Freedom Towers, this is what we found:
Every September in Newfoundland we have the food fishery, where every Newfoundlander can catch five fish per person, per day, for a week. People tend to catch cod. During the 2015 food fishery, my students and I gathered the guts of 205 fish from the food fishery to see what the cod had been eating. We were looking for plastic. What we found is pictured below, captured from the camera built into our laboratory microscope. Is it plastic, or not? Cod Objects (Ingestion […]
Dinner Plates (Northern Fulmar), 2015 Digital photographs These images are part of a larger series called Seeing Like a Scientist. When we are doing plastic ingestion studies in the laboratory, we dissect animal gastrointestinal tracts to see what they’ve eaten. We’re looking for plastics, but a lot of things look like plastics. These images were taken in the lab during a study of Northern Fulmar from the Labrador Sea. All of the hard and plastic-like objects are removed from the bird’s guts, put […]
Two main projects have emerged from my research and activism around plastic pollution: a manuscript, “Techniques of Definition: Defining Harm in Plastic Pollution,” and a citizen science project to investigate the state of ocean plastics in Newfoundland.
Categories: Current Projects
Disasters engender a range of scientific and technical activities, including research, data collection, policy interventions, technological and infrastructural development, expert-lay collaborations, and the reorganization of knowledge networks.
Critical Discard Studies is an emerging interdisciplinary sub-field that takes waste and wasting, broadly defined, as its topic of study. The field questions premises of what seems normal or given, and analyzes the wider role of society and culture, including social norms, economic systems, forms of labour, ideology, infrastructure and power in definitions of, attitudes toward, behaviors around, and materialities of waste, broadly defined. As its starting point, critical Discard Studies holds that waste is not produced by individuals and […]
Categories: Current Projects
Object Ethnography Project, 2011-present Online exchange platform Access and participate in the Object Ethnography Project here. Rule of exchange: You can take anything if you pay with a story about it. Each of the objects in the Object Ethnography Project has been donated by an ordinary person. Each object has a story. All these objects are available for exchange. You, or anyone else, can trade for any object by offering a new story about it. What attracts you to the […]