Friday, September 30, 2011

Material Dissections

Several years ago the city of Buffalo began a biannual bulk trash pickup day, where citizens can put out piles of trash up to 12'x3'x3' in total volume without being charged any pickup fees. To a couple of scavengers of odd items (and a horde of metal scrappers), this is practically Christmas. Going first around the Masten district and then Fillmore, the wastestream was endless. Not having our final site to work on yet, we can only speculate which of these things are useful.

Having amassed a bank of objects, we start to dissect them. Psychologically: what are the cultural associations and histories of each object? Architecturally: what material qualities do they possess and how might they be implemented into "building"? Anatomically: what are the inner workings of each object, and how can they be broken down (and reformed)?

Unpacking the empty suitcase

Water container turned water barrier

The luggage parts will likely go toward creating a small bike trailer, for greater loading capacity on our regular dives. The piece cut out of the pool was traced from the torn and permeable fabric top to the sun umbrella found several weeks ago. This will provide a dry shelter at our first squatting camp.

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