BARBARA HASHIMOTO: WHITE TRASH AND JUNK MAIL

CHICAGO ARTS DISTRICT

APRIL 2008 - JANUARY 2009

PHOTOS: ARCHIE FLORCRUZ


Junk Mail Landscape, installation, 8 x 40 x 40 feet
(utilizing only the junk mail received at BauerLatoza Studio for one year, no armature or supports used)

On June 1, 2007 Barbara Hashimoto, Artist-in-Residence at the Chicago-based architecture firm BauerLatoza Studio, asked the sixteen staff members to set aside junk mail they received at the office address. For an entire year Hashimoto incorporated the daily hand-shredding of this unsolicited material into her studio practice. At the end of twelve months she had amassed more than 3,000 cubic feet of shredded material, constituting the amount of junk mail delivered by the U.S. Postal Service to this one small business.

The genesis of this project was inspired by a number of mind-boggling statistics: AMERICANS RECEIVE 77 BILLION PIECES OF JUNK MAIL ANNUALLY and THE AVERAGE AMERICAN WILL SPEND EIGHT MONTHS OF HIS/HER LIFE HANDLING JUNK MAIL. Statistics like these have taken hold of the artist both visually and physically.

Hashimoto’s labor-intensive yet intimate process has inspired a series of sculptures, installations, performances, and collaborations. This nine-month exhibiiton, sponsored by the Chicago Arts District and Podmarjersky, Inc., presented an evolving schedule of shredded junk mail installations, associated works, visiting artists, and special events. The public was encouraged to view this process anytime through the 45-foot floor-to-ceiling storefront windows. In the evenings the exhibition is lit for viewing.


Sea of Junk Mail, installation, 45 x 2 x 50 feet

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE JUNK MAIL EXPERIMENT

more Junk Mail photos by FlorCruz at whateverland.com
more Junk Mail photos by FlorCruz at flickr