Journey from Longjiang (2010)
Journey from Longjiang seeks to make visible the invisible. It takes as its starting place the economic history of the building where the work was originally shown -- a former furniture retail store -- and explores the hidden relationships and expenditures of energy and resource embedded in commercial activity. As furniture manufacturing is increasingly outsourced to countries such as China and Vietnam to profit from lower standards of labor protection and environmental regulation, workers' conditions in both the U.S. and in foreign manufacturing sites are degraded, and transcontinental shipping makes a profoundly negative environmental impact.
The project includes both sculpture and video. The sculptures are made of salvaged packaging materials used to protect furniture in transit (foam cushions; large sheets of triple-ply foam and plastic; and cardboard). The foam and plastic (which the customer is oblivious to) are routinely landfilled or burned, creating highly toxic gases. Video tracks the transoceanic journey of the furniture.
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