Eco Artist John Fekner Revamps Famous Toxic Waste Video for Earth Day


Image via video screengrab

We're big fans of John Fekner, who creates environmentally focused artwork, often with a sharp edge. His Cash for Clunkers art pinpoints the wastefulness of how we use and abuse automobiles, and Warning Signs 4U2C underscores how little we've improved our stance on toxic waste. In fact, that's the point of his latest project - a revamp of a classic video he made in 1981. With disturbing sounds and visuals, it asks us how far have we not come, and why?

Toxic Wastes Earth Day 2010 (Wastebed 13) Re-Edit from john fekner on Vimeo.


Hyperallergic writes, "The original video was inspired by the horrifying story of the Love Canal development in Niagara Falls, New York. A largely forgotten chapter in American environmental disasters, Love Canal became a lightning rod for activists when the local newspaper, Niagara Gazette, discovered that 21,000 tons of toxic waste had been buried beneath the neighborhood by Hooker Chemical."

The latest version of the video was inspired by Camillus, New York, whose community members have been fighting Honeywell International's plans to bury toxic sediment from Onondaga Lake in Wastebed 13.

When we constantly hear stories about the devastation toxic waste causes, we have to wonder why we don't have python-strength regulations on where it goes and what methods are used to deal with it. When communities have to fight for a clean backyard, we know something is wrong - including badly enforced regulations, poor corporate responsibility, and our consumption habits that prompt the creation of toxic waste in the first place.

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Tags: Artists | Earth Day | Pollution

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