Send in Your Dust for a Personalized Brick

duster cize photo

Photo: B. Alter

Clean out the corners of your room, under the sofa and behind your bed and send the dust in to "Laid to Rest". If you do it quickly enough you can have your own personal brick made with your name on it.

Sounds bizarre? It is a social history and artistic project examining dust and our changing perceptions of dirt. It's everywhere now that half of the world's population lives in cities.

shop front photo

Photo: B. Alter

Created as part of an upcoming exhibition on dirt, this exercise draws on the history of the King's Cross, London area. In the Victorian times there was a huge dust heap in the area which was a source of income. Locals sold the rubbish, cinder and ashes from their fire grates and made money from their garbage. This was mixed with mud from the nearby brick fields to produce the humble brick. It was found that if cinders were added to bricks they fired more easily and were better quality. Charles Dickens wrote about it in "Our Mutual Friend."

Now King's Cross area has been almost transformed and almost nothing is left of this heritage. By collecting the dust, we are honouring parts of our society that we take for granted now.

laid rest photo

Photo: B. Alter

However, by sending in your own dirt to Serena Korda's project your dust will be transformed into a brick and become part of a time capsule of 500 commemorative bricks. Big or small amounts of dirt are welcome; some has come from Canada already.

dust ercise photo

Photo: UP projects

To publicize the project, a "Dustercise" was held. A new combo of exercise and cleaning: the ultimate multi-tasking for the modern, stressed-out woman, and man. She played dirt related songs such as Car Wash, Wash That Man Right out of My Hair, and the Andrews Sisters at the event.

This project plus many more all culminate in the exhibition "Dirt: The Filthy Reality of Everyday Life" in March. It will "introduce six different cities where the biological, sociological and philosophical implications of dirt are examined. What might different experiences of dirt and attitudes towards cleanliness tell us from the perspectives of the citizens of Delft in seventeenth century Holland; Victorian London; Glasgow in the 1860s; Dresden in the early twentieth century; New Delhi in the present day and Fresh Kills, New York's largest municipal landfill in 2030."

More on Dirt
Eating Dirt : The Latest Culinary Trend
Local Dirt Website Points Locavores to Food
The Dirt on Sarah Brown's Vegetable Garden

Related Content on