CJ2: from dust to dust

Everything we have, everything we make, everything we eat and everything we are will one be destroyed. The remaining question is what will happen with the remains.

Brazilian artist Tarsila do Amaral invites us to reflect on what are the things that make us us, culturally speaking. Who produces the art and the ideas we consume? Here, I use her painting The Abaporu to get us thinking who produces the food we consume, and what we’re left with after we’re done with it.

Leo DiCaprio’s documentary Before the Flood warns us of the destruction of native rainforest for the production of palm oil, used in chips such as Lays and Doritos. Knowingly or not, every consumer of those and other products fuels that destruction of habitat. The carbon emitted due to the arson of those trees and the carbon that is no longer absorbed by them helps make the Earth less habitable.

Using the peels of potatoes, carrots and bananas me and my roommate ate on the last couple of days, I made a reconstruction of the Abaporu, on top of a cutting board which helped me cook food that was less detrimental for the environment than the package of potato chips on top of which the cutting board was placed. The peels and my Abaporu itself will become worm food in the vermicomposting project of the class.

I will try to keep reducing my plastic and non-biodegradable waste, always carrying a reusable bag, refusing plastic bags and buying natural fruit and vegetables instead of industrialized packaged ones.

The Abaporu might have a small head up in the clouds, but their big feet are very much down to Earth. If we’re going to save ourselves from the hell we’re making the Earth to be, we have to start now.

One thought on “CJ2: from dust to dust”

  1. I really like your interpretation of the prompt! Using an existing piece of art, and replicating it with your food scraps is a really cool idea. Not only did you see a piece of art and interpret it, you took it to the next level by letting it inspire your own project. I especially like the fact that when you were done with the peels they did not end up in the trash, but instead ended up in the compost, feeding the worms. Your commitment listed at the end is also really nice to see. I think my favourite part of the project and the blog post in general is your final paragraph; drawing the parallel between the the Abaporu living with their heads in the clouds, yet still firmly planted on Earth. This is definitely a view that everyone needs to take when trying to combat the issue of global climate change.


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