Since 1999 we have been mining the same 1000 yard stretch of beach, Kehoe Beach, in the Point Reyes National Seashore, extracting the plastic debris that is washing ashore. We then take it to our home/studio where we fashion it into works of art.
People easily forget the equation of oil=plastic, but every year thousands of barrels of oil and natural gas are extracted and used to make plastic. What is that plastic straw in your beverage but mined fossil hydrocarbons? We have set our sights on the exposé of the extractive world and are developing an artistic response to the catastrophe of a petroleum-based consumer culture.
We have been talking a lot lately about the sound tracks of our lives, The music and the lyrics that are embedded in our memory that moved with us through time. So it was not too surprising when, this morning, I found myself humming the theme song to the Beverly Hillbillies.
Not surprising, really??? Where did that tune come from??? How could it be that I still do remember all of the lyrics? If you don’t, here goes:
It’s a familiar story, poor family strikes it rich then takes their back-country ways to Beverly Hills. It’s the dream of a jackpot, the get-rich-quick of sudden financial gain.
My Uncle Carl had that same glint in his eyes the day the geyser of oil blew on his property. It was of a moment. Although he never struck it rich, he did move to California; Alameda, that is, where he worked for years as a mechanic for the US Navy.
We grow up with a dream of a life of ease — with big houses and fancy cars, swimmin’ pools, movie stars… and the luxury of single-use… .
It’s time to rethink the propensity for over-consuming, discarding, littering — the use it and throw it away mentality. And, where is away, anyway? If we don’t do something soon, scientists guesstimate that by 2050 there will be more plastic than fish (by weight) in the ocean. Millionaire or no, we can’t really afford this.
Can we re:dream the dream?????
Here we present four panels of black beach plastic cast with resin onto sheets of plexiglas. We call this Black Gold, Texas Tea.