One Persons Trash is anothers Treasure

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Chelsea as Site and Resource

Trash-Treasure A5Flyer.jpg

Folke Köbberling, working with Martin Kaltwasser has been exploring alternatives to consumerist ideology since 1998, through structural interventions, artistic projects, and actions. The artists typically occupy public spaces with structures built from materials liberated from waste streams, or existing “urban resources”. Thrown-away, dumped, abandoned or even rubbish materials are turned into beautiful structures; bridges, pavilions, benches, roofs and even theatres. In this two-day masterclass led by Folke Chelsea College of Art and Design will become both the resource and the site for the collaboratively developed intervention.

The Masterclass is part of Critical Practice's ongoing research into systems of evaluation, and waste.

Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser are internationally renowned, exhibitions and projects include the Goal! The Olympic Site London (UK) 2011, Jellyfish Theatre in Southwark, (UK) 2010, Event Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin (GD) 2011, and Cars into Bicycles Bergamot Station Art Center, Los Angeles (US) 2010, they recently participated in the Architecture Biennial in Sao Paulo.

More information Folke Köbberling and Martin Kaltwasser

The Masterclass is free, but due to limited places, prior booking is essential. Please RVSP to:

10am Monday, 15th April 2013

Folke gave an introduction to her practice with Martin Kaltwasser followed by a wider discussion on art practices, ethics and waste. Trade and art fairs, generate an astonishing amount of waste... We then walked the site at Chelsea College of Art and Design looking at waste streams - the skip used to dump unwanted artworks, exhibition making stuff, things and materials - and discussed what to make/ what services were missing.

We talked about the lack of public infrastructure in the Parade Ground, the vast cobble-stone desert at the heart of the campus .........Critical Practice has a longstanding interest in public goods, spaces, services and knowledge, and a track record of producing original participatory events, like Parade which explored the disagreeable, contentious, exhilarating, messy, efficient, live, improvisatory and provisional nature of Being in Public.

We walked over to our neighbours, Tate Britain. They are undertaking a major extension and dispose of unwanted materials with skips too. They were very friendly and helpful. We decided to scavenge materials and reconvene after lunch in the Parade Ground, to decide what to make......

At 2pm, after sifting through our assembled gleanings, and noting the padlocked cafe furniture, the in-situ stone benches, we decided to make some public tables and benches.

In self-assembled groups we set about inventing seating from waste, things were repurposed, pallets were broken down for material and components, huge MDF room dividers revealed a beautiful stainless steel frame. Even better, when turned upside-down the frame was a perfect height for a table to the stone-benches. Creative destruction unleashed a torrent of energy and enthusiasm, the MDF cladding was stripped.

At 5pm, we called it a day.

10am Tuesday, 16th April 2013

We reconvened, reassembled and set about making the table-tops and finishing the benches. Classes emerged in sawing, sanding and the safe use of a jigsaw. Experiences were shared, expertise exchanged and we ate lunch together off the first table.

At 2pm, more sawing, screwing, sanding, and then in a blur it was done. We had five upcycled public benches, and two huge tables. The sun came out, we positioned the new furniture, cleared-away the unused materials, returned the tools and opened some wine. We christened the furniture (yes wine was spilt) and reflected on the workshop. Two intense and productive days.

See more images of the workshop

Above: locked cafe chairs 8658263189_b8b5a00fbc_m.jpg
Above: Gleaned materials 8658267479_0d0ae63177_m.jpg
Above: pallet aesthetic 8659374388_e88028d24a_m.jpg
Above: New Public furniture 8658270919_cc917cd93e_m.jpg
Above: New Public furniture 8659377608_f2386fa41a_m.jpg
Above: Workshop christening

Related projects include Waste introduction, the analogue bug-fix of broken chairs, Parade or return to Main Page