Last week 11 artists from all over the world came together in the Rucka Artist Residency in Cēsis to launch WasteArt artistic campaign “NOT out of sight, NOT out of mind” with a common goal to urge people about a vast amount of waste produced and consumerism behaviour that is leading Latvia and Estonia to depletion of natural resources.
During the campaign, 17 artists from 10 countries will use capacity of contemporary art and diversity of artistic practices to develop travelling exhibition, which will raise awareness and hopefully change people’s habits towards more environmentally friendly behavior. This campaign is necessary because nowadays the rhythm of our daily life’s is fast and the amount of information that we observe each day is bigger than ever before. Therefore, people choose not to see and care about the trash they produce – seems like it disappears somewhere in the Black Hole, so we don’t have to worry about it anymore. During the campaign, the artists and the WasteArt team want to urge people and stress that waste does not just disappear after throwing them in a garbage bin. Eventually, each produced waste footprint will strike back – damaging the landscapes, ecosystems, natural resources and quality of our lives. The campaign encourages people to see that waste is “NOT out of sight, NOT out of mind”.
The bootcamp was dedicated to share artists’ ideas and artistic concepts for the travelling exhibition and campaign. Over the next three months, their artistic projects will be developed in residencies – MoKS in Estonia and Rucka Artist Residency in Latvia. To trigger different senses, artists are going to create various artistic practices – audio-visual and interactive installations, photography, demonstrations of processes, and many other contemporary art experiences. Starting from June 2019, the artworks will be included in exhibitions, which will travel through 6 public sites and galleries in Latvia and Estonia.
The objective of exhibition is to showcase artists interpretation of the waste problem to increase public awareness of consumer material waste issues and resource efficiency. During two-day workshops and informational sessions experts helped artists to develop their ideas. They offered insights in such themes: Uģis Rotbergs, representative of “Pasaules Dabas Fonds” (Formerly WWF-Latvia) and Institute for Environmental Solutions talked about Expanding sensory perceptions towards environment and waste; Santa Krastiņa, member of Zero Waste community and project manager of RTU Design factory shared experience in Zero Waste community building; Mait Kriipsalu, professor of Estonian University of Life Sciences, led brainstorm for artists in concept of “re-constructions, environmental engineering and waste”.
To learn more about waste management challenges and practices in Latvia, during the bootcamp artists visited project partners SIA “ZAAO” in their landfill “Daibe”. During the WasteArt project, the involved artists have a great opportunity to use materials from Daibe landfill, so they went to examine what can be found and planned the technical aspects of artwork concepts.
Artists that participated in this meeting: Mikael Hansen (DK) “Take a look at yourself”, Varvara Guljajeva (EE) “PlasticLand”, Jacob Kirkegaard (DK) “Testimonium”, Marta Moorats (EE) “Monomarine”, Kiwa (EE) “0”, Ansis Starks (LV) “secondsecond”, André Avelãs (NL) “Trash Vodka”, Elena Redaelli (NO) “Paper walls”, Johanna “Hanuka” Lohren (LV) “Raising Monsters”, Ieva Krumina (LV) “The Field of Desires” and Geraldine Juárez (SE) “Broken Promises”.
“Reuse of Waste through Arts and Crafts” (WasteArt) No. Est-Lat 65, is funded by the European Regional Development Fund, Interreg V-A Estonia – Latvia Cross-Border Programme and co-funded by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia (VARAM) and project partners. This article reflects the views of the author. The managing authority of the Interreg V-A Estonia – Latvia programme is not liable for how this information may be used.
Find more about the WasteArt project here.