Don't be an asshole, be an artist!
Fun with garbage in
Black Rock City
by Ritlin Scott
as I left Black Rock City, I saw a most impressive art installation, and maybe
you saw it too. It was just off the main road on the way out . The mixed-media
design of metal, plastic, wood, and paper was simply breathtaking. At a mere
first glance it had the appearance of an ordinary road-side trench overflowing
with garbage, but upon closer inspection, a person could truly see the effort
and attention to detail that went into the project.
I woke up
one of my friends and said, "Hey look at that art installation, it looks
just like garbage!"
screamed, "It's real garbage, you stupid jerk!," and promptly went
back to sleeping off the rest of the year.
buying it. "But can't you see the overall message imbedded in all that
trash, you know, man's inhumanity to man? The ironic twist that it looks
exactly like that real garbage on the other
side of the road. Can't you see the fucking irony?"
know much about art, but I know what sucks. I had quite a while to think about
what sucks after my friends threw me out of our moving RV so that "I might
ponder the full impact of the art piece," while running after my ride.
was what I thought was art, or maybe it was the odd assortment of
"post-consumer content" that was thrown at me by my two friends, or
maybe it was the heat exhaustion and the resulting hospital stay in Reno, but
something got me thinking about the many types of inconsiderate assholes there
are in this world, and how quickly we judge them.
really get that mad at people who have been conditioned since birth to
recognize that trash is worthless and "dirty"? Who are we to judge
people who for their entire life have absolved themselves of their mess by
merely removing it from their sight and making it someone else's problem? Don't we all do that everyday? Does anyone
think that a person would actually change over a weekend, and want to drive out
of the desert with their stinky, wet Plastic Buddy (see Playa Lingo) riding shotgun?
So, in an effort to try to reduce the amount
of name-calling and finger-pointing that now seems to be the traditional Monday
morning ritual here in Black Rock City, I've written down a few tips to reduce
your burden. Hopefully, they will bring out the aesthetic value of your trash
and inspire a garbage art installation at your own camp this year. But whatever
you do with your trash, have fun with it!
Dried fruit and vegetable skins can be used to make
decorative car top mosaics.
Dried banana-skin tarantula mobiles will dress up any
Paper burns. Try it! It's fun! It makes a pretty, pretty
flame. If you don't think you can handle it, find a trained professional.
Plastic water jugs can have a second life as decorative
ground lanterns. Just cut a hole in the bottom and stick in a flashlight or
glowstick. Be sure to add a little mud so that they don't blow over.
Creating a central recycling bin for your camp makes a fun
group project, plus makes it easy to get rid of half your trash in Reno.
Used condoms make great balloon toys for all those feral
children that wander through your camp.
Wet garbage becomes dry garbage within a few hours under the
hot Nevada sun. Baked beans, pea soup, and mustard all make great finger
Wet garbage can make brilliant star bursts, especially when
splattered against any television production van you might come across.
If any stray dogs come into your camp and give you little
presents, you can give them a little treat in exchange: chicken bone chew toys!
these tips ÷ and by keeping the three R's: recycle,
reduce, and reuse ÷ in mind, you'll be able to shrink the
size of your
Plastic Buddy down to the size of the stick up Al Gore's