Plastic : A Toxic Love Story by Susan Freinkel. It was a very interesting read, and although it gets heavy in spots with facts and the 'poly' of polymers, it was fascinating to get a grasp on the history and complete immersion of plastics in our society today.
This year I've been working on a research project that basically looks at two components of a big big question - Sustainability - What is it and how do we achieve it? I've chosen two areas of focus based in Moreton Bay, one being conservation in the sense of setting aside areas through designation for National Park status. The other looks at waste management and goals brought in by state government to reduce waste going to landfill.
The project 'With or without?' is partly asking What can we live with? What can we live without? It's a choice?
I wanted to get some understanding of the history of plastics and their role in our lives. It could be easy perhaps to think - I'll just stop using plastic, remove it from my life - but in reality plastics have benefits as well as drawbacks, and after reading Freinkel's book, I have a new awareness of just how ingrained this substance is in our everyday.
The blurb on the back of the book says it well ..."It's everywhere: just try to get through a day without touching anything made from it. But our love affair with this endlessly versatile and alluring substance is turning out to be a very complex relationship. Plastics draw on dwindling fossil fuels, leach harmful chemicals, litter landscapes and destroy marine life. And we've produced nearly as much of the stuff in the past decade as we did in the entire twentieth century."
You get the picture; though I'm glad to say the book also looks at positive developments in the use of plastics and recycling endevours around the world. It's well worth a read.
In my arts practice I'm really interested in the pragmatic, and reality of life. Where does the balance lie? At a time when issues are becoming increasingly polarised, with extremes at either end of the debate consuming all space and air....without any real discussion. How do we find a balance? And where is the middle ground? I like a good challenge...