Not all plastics are recyclable...
sto.mach.ic installations use and spotlight the plastic detritus which accumulates from our personal consumption, especially from behaviors and patterns that have been sanctioned by the notion of 'convenience'.
By creating artifacts made from objects we co-habit with intimately and daily, the viewers' experience is rooted in the deeply personal and relatable. It presents those very objects and material transformed with labour, love and artisanal craftsmanship to shift perceptions of value, and of what we consider 'disposable'.
It focuses on material collection before it enters the 'formal' waste management pipeline. Items well-intentionally but mistakenly placed in the "Recycle" bin are diverted into installations and away from the landfills. By engaging community members and neighborhoods, the material collection process itself serves as a point of engagement and change.
Not all plastics are ‘Recyclable’, contrary to what this ♺ symbol indicates.
Plastics marked 1 and 2 are fed back into the recycling chain but almost all plastics marked 3-7 end up in the landfill. While people are now aware of the ecological impact of single-use plastics, they are not as aware about the direct shelf-to-landfill line that mixed plastics enforce. For example: soap dispensers, lotion pumps, toothpaste tubes, electric toothbrushes all end up in the landfill! Compounding this is the cost of material recovery, which makes landfilling them the cheapest solution.
Even in San Francisco, one of the most ecologically progressive cities in the world, the consumer does not (1) know and (2) have affordable alternatives.
By making apparent and spotlighting mixed plastics, sto.mach.ic artifacts and installations are designed to inform the viewer, raise awareness, and consequently, shift our consumption patterns.