Litter Glitter

2020 Waller Creek Light Show Submission

Status: Concept

The majority of what humans discard degrades slowly and collects to form massive landfills and other less intentional accumulations. Perhaps the most startling of these accumulations is the Great Pacific Plastic Patch that has formed in the roughly 100 years since the material’s invention. Just as the oceans are fed by millions of small streams across the continents, the plastic patch is the cumulative formation of local waste streams that together create something unrecognizable. 

Our submission for the 2020 Creek Show, litter glitter, draws inspiration from waste observed in local water bodies. An immersive experience is created in the form an extruded arch through which guests pass intimately close to objects that typically go “away”. Employing nearly 5,000 used water and beer bottles, or a 3-person family’s recyclables for a year, the exhibit seeks to provide commentary on the cumulative effect of our actions, particularly our litter. As you approach the exhibit, its component parts are not immediately distinguished from the overall effect. Upon closer inspection, the realization of the fine grain material will yield insight as to how a small thing can cumulatively form something unrecognizable. 

In lieu of creating artwork that would be discarded upon disassembly, our proposal is completely recyclable. Gabion baskets are filled with salvaged and cleaned water bottles, beer bottles, and other waste that we will personally collect from local water bodies and restaurants/bars. The bottles will be recycled and the gabion baskets donated after the life of the exhibit. 

The location for the artwork, shown in the adjacent image, has been portrayed as a bend in the Waller Creek Trail near the Symphony Amphitheater, between 11th and 12th Streets. We can see the exhibit being successful at multiple locations along the creek but feel a “kink” adds to the intrigue of the form and increases the likelihood that guests will become immersed in the exhibit. Water is cumulative, waste is cumulative, but their streams don’t have to coincide. 

Plural Office LLC  |  Architecture + Urbanism + Research

Austin, TX   |   |    817-319-7177