James Carl Makes the Temporary Permanent and Vice Versa

takeouts james carl image

We have shown entire galleries and slideshows where artists have started with garbage and turned it into art; James Carl does the opposite, and takes artists' traditional materials like marble and turns it into garbage, like this series of takeout containers.

fountain james carl image

Long before bottled water was a big issue, he played with the stuff. James Carl tries to describe the piece:

It takes root in codes -- electrical, civil, horticultural, aesthetic -- and it accepts these as its first principles and material resources. It attempts to make object those regulatory axioms which define its social and historical situation. fountain is a monument to obeyance; it dispenses observance; and through its complicity and compliance, attaches itself to the site and to the world.

james carl xrays

airport x-ray machine and ABM

Besides making temporary things like stryrofoam clamshells permanent, he makes permanent objects very temporary. Currently, some of his work is on show at the Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario. They write:

Carl first came to critical attention with an ambition series of one-on-one scale cardboard replicas of consumer and household appliances. Since then, Carl’s interest in replicating objects from the flow of consumer culture has come to involve carving white marble into disposable Styrofoam fast-food containers and cutting and folding Coroplast hand tools, car tires, and even office furnishings. Materials made for one-time purposes, such as packaging, represent seemingly long-lasting material goods, while materials associated with permanence and enduring value come to represent the fleeting impermanence of instantaneously disposable stuff.

james carl ricecookers photo

James Carl,
currently showing at the Cambridge Galleries
See more art from garbage in TreeHugger:
New Museum of Arts and Design Opens With Second Lives
A Visit to "TransPlastic" by Campana Brothers
Drop: Stuart Haygarth's Take on Bottled Water, in Chandelier Form
PET Project: Recycled Plastic Art by Miwa Koizumi

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