Plastic Nightmare: Northern Pacific Gyre

This performance was part of an environmental group show called the Green House Exhibition and refered to the Northern Pacific Gyre.  The largest landfill in the world, floating in the middle of the Pacific ocean, two times bigger than Texas. It collects trash from all over the world, moslty plastic, and presents numerous hazards to marine life, fishing and tourism. Plastic constitutes 90 percent of all trash floating in the world's oceans [ LA Times]. The United Nations Environment Program estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean hosts 46,000 pieces of floating plastic [UN Environment Program]. In some areas, the amount of plastic outweighs the amount of plankton by a ratio of six to one. Of the more than 200 billion pounds of plastic the world produces each year, about 10 percent ends up in the ocean [Greenpeace]. Seventy percent of that eventually sinks, damaging life on the ocean floor  but the rest floats ending up in gyres. Our dependency on plastic for wrapping things which after being opened end up as garbage was the inspiration of this piece. The idea was also to see how many people knew about the patch of trash that we are creating in the ocean due to our irresponsible consumption and disposa.

I reflected on how much plastic I used and where did I used the most. At the time I worked at a cafeteria, so I decided to collect  for one day all the plastic debris. As most plastic came from wrapping things I decided that the plastic could be use to wrap me up by the audience for three hours. Next to the performance a message explained the origin of the plastic and a  brief explanation of the Northern Pacific Gyre , and its origins. To my surprise few people knew it even existed, triggering a moment of reflection of our consumption patterns.

The Green House Exhibition
Concourse Gallery 
Vancouver, Canada. 
Photo Credit: Jerome Kashetsky