Junk: rubbish to gold

Jivan Astfalck, Laura Bradshaw-Heap, Rachel Darbourne

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The aim of this paper is to explore the entangled social relations of a specific commodity as its meanings and materiality transform, shifting between sites of disposal, production and consumption, crossing and expanding upon the boundaries of rubbish, transient and maybe even durable as crafted art. Our paper investigates issues concerning the conceptual development and operational intricacies towards staging JUNK: rubbish to gold, a performative and participatory installation project, which is motivated by social and ecological concerns, questioning the intrinsic value of design and the value of recycled and upcycled materials. The project aims to experiment with innovative and collaborative design methodologies and a playful exploration of ideas of community economies and associated activities of exchange, bartering, gathering, earning, harvesting and giving. In today?s society when we think of re-using we imagine the recycling of packaging and unwanted consumer objects, we think of the up-cycling of consumer leftovers into a new and desirable luxury, but we do not however think very often about the changing status of the object and the relation between monetary value and design value. In our visually biased society we focus on the object, the material. Recycling sees conversion of one object to another, ideally from unwanted to desired, but mostly in terms of new consumer product ready to buy. JUNK: rubbish to gold seeks to shake this presumption through making the entire process of creation the ?work of art?, from material selection to (re)construction, the focus is shifted from the object to the social interactions and agency usually hiding behind it.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalMaking Futures
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 1 Jan 2015


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