Unnatural History Collection
Unnatural History Collection, 2016
I started collecting discarded and abandoned objects along the South Alouette River in Maple Ridge in summer 2015. The “specimens” are documented (date and location found, description, weight, dimensions) and numbered. I display the specimens as though they are part of a natural history research collection, arranged according to classification. However, rather than being natural components of an ecosystem, the specimens on display are a reflection of what is more often found in our natural or wild environments: the detritus left behind by those who came before us. Each piece in the collection is documented in a ledger book that can be read by viewers.
- 400+ found objects, documented, cleaned, measured, weighed, packaged and classified
- Numbered species list, indicating date, location, type of object, dimensions, weight and notes for each item
Items included in the collection: bottle caps, aluminum can tabs, plastic straws, plastic spoons, fishing line, fishing hooks, floats and bait, disposable cups and lids, flip flops, water shoes, sunglasses, bus tickets, tennis balls, a dog ball, a portion of a leash, hair elastics, glass and plastic bottles, a plastic comb, medicine container, spent firecrackers, solar garden light, thermos, sandwich bags, cookie and granola bar wrappers, candy wrappers, chip bags, cigarette packages, cigarette butts, socks, towels, shawl, string, earbuds, fuse, lighter, broken glass, aluminum beer and pop cans. The majority of the beer and pop cans were used to create the Canned Salmon.
Items not collected include paper napkins and tissues, most cigarette butts, decomposing food items, and bags containing dog waste.