The theme we chose is rubbish. The sub-theme is its unclear and transitory state. We attempted to look at the way rubbish used to be a part of something or have a specific use. And we set out to answer whether it is instantly rubbish the second someone throws it away and whether the aesthetic is lost at this moment, because it is now trash. Or, can rubbish be art?
It seems to us that it is only when you take a photo of some rubbish that you can appreciate it. This brings me back to the sub-theme and the above questions. We tried to “have some sort of artistic aspirations or pretensions in [our] composition[s], [and] use of lighting or framing (Murray 2008)” to bring new appreciation for these “small objects in life that often go unnoticed” (ibid). Of course this may not be to everyone’s taste; as Murray states “for the most part, the meanings of … individual images and the collection itself are in the eye of the beholder” (ibid). At the end of this essay, we can answer in the affirmative: there is a beauty in refuse. It is admittedly “fleeting, malleable [and] immediate” (ibid) but it is there if you have the right ingredients.
Some of our photos show animals, cars and people moving while rubbish is surrounding them, oblivious the fact they are so close to these eyesores. Not only is the rubbish part of the everyday aesthetic, but the ignorance of society to a problem they created is an embedded part of the everyday aesthetic, as we have clearly demonstrated. There are photos from a wide variety of locations showing evidence of our “exploration of the urban eye and its relation to decay … [and] ability to locate beauty in the mundane” (ibid). We believe that for the above reasons our collection can be included in the photographic category of ‘ephemera’.
Reference: Murray S, “Digital Images, Photo-Sharing, and Our Shifting Notions of Everyday Aesthetics”, Journal of Visual Culture 2008, 7(2), 147-163.
Music: Elepheel (Omar Al Fil) - Garbage Man (2012, licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported (CC BY 3.0))
Link to source: http://soundcloud.com/elepheel/garbage-man