Junk Artists – 10 Creative Works Made Out of Trash

5. Bitublock

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While some creative works are more artistic (read: for fun) in nature, the BituBlock aims strictly for usefulness. If creator Dr. John Forth bitublock2gets his way, it will literally become the new building block of society, as it is a proposed replacement for the oft-employed cement block. Imagine if you could take that large bag of trash you were supposed to throw out and compact it into a small, durable brick – this is effectively what Forth has done, using bitumen as a glue to hold the trash together. Among its list of benefits is strength (it’s much stronger than concrete – up to six times), sustainability (there are plenty of landfills, in case the world suddenly stops producing trash), and low energy consumption (holy multitasking inventions, Batman: it will even reduce the production of greenhouse gas emissions). Studies are still being conducted on this potential block replacement, but if we were concrete (and concrete was sentient), we’d be worried. Read more.

4. Complete Rubbish Hotel

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Remember that time you made the unfortunate decision to shack up for the night in that travel-through town’s no-tell motel? You shied away from the slimy porcelain and the dirty sheets and swore you couldn’t find a more trashy hotel if you tried. It turns out, you were wrong, at least for the lifespan of the Rubbish Hotel in Madrid, Spain, made up completely from old trash taken out of Europe’s shorelines and landfills.

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Built up with old pieces of garbage (much of it once water-logged), this hotel aims to draw attention to the increasing problem of ocean pollution, particularly in European locations hailed (and of course, promoted) for their picturesque beaches. Many of those involved in the construction of the five room establishment –including H.A. Schult (see #1) – expressed frustration with level of pollution in the seas and warned that the Rubbish Hotel (also called the Beach Garbage Hotel) was a sign of what will come, if no change is implemented.

3. Junk Shadows

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You look at a wall and see two silhouettes, sitting back to back in casual repose.junk-shadow3 When you trace the shadows back to the figures casting them, however, all you see is a large pile of junk. This is how the “Junk Shadows” artwork by Tim Noble and Sue Webster is presented – as piles of garbage tricking the light into portraying it as something else. The garbage used is the total sum of waste produced by the artists while they were working on the project, making it a reflection of the artists in several different ways (the trash reflects them, but so do the silhouettes).

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On a more philosophical level, the art – when paired with the artists’ other ‘light’ works – reflects the darker side in every soul. Famous junk shadow art pieces include “Miss Understood & Mr. Meaner” and “Dirty White Trash” pictured above.

2. Junk Giants

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Like a scene straight out of Godzilla, two giant creatures navigate the streets of the world; one will even slowly rise from the water. But these are no creatures from the black lagoon; instead, they are puppets, made of trash, as part of a high-tech, large-scale theatrical production put on by the Royal de Luxe theatre company.

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The most remarkable part of the production is the fact that the puppets are created from old junk. The intent behind the project is to make a fantastic creation out of average, insignificant pieces (hence the choice of trash as the medium); and, also to share the story of a divided family in such a way as inspires hope and delight. The primary creator, Jean-Luc Courcoult, has also expressed his wish that the so-called “junk giants” encourage people to dream.

1. Trash People

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You turn a corner and see them – line by line, rows upon rows of faceless soldiers. An invading army? Yes, but don’t be too alarmed: the Trash People (a creative work by the German artist H.A. Schult, who used pieces of garbage such as soda cans and broken radios to build his forces) come in peace. You don’t have to worry these people are going to decompose, because are made from sturdy, inorganic materials. They are intended as a not-too subtle commentary on the wasteful nature of society and the enormous volumes of garbage it produces regularly. The Trash People have carried their anti-waste message all over the globe, from the ancient pyramids of Egypt to the modern streets of New York in order to further drive home the reality that garbage over-production is a global problem – not isolated to any individual region or people.

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