Me and the Anthropocene – Garbage Transformation

While researching more about sustainability and exploring the materials from my previous garbage transform project, I found soda tabs can be another interesting material to work with, and I built a “sculpture”, a squirrel, out of it.

Working Progress

Experimenting and building a sculptural form with soda tabs was not easy, and I had to several methods to connect those tabs. By sticking a proper-sized ribbon stripe through holes of each tab, I was able to connect with each other into a two-dimensional form, and eventually made the squirrel’s face.

Since I’m using one ribbon for the entire face, it was very important to plan out the order and placement of each tab – starting from one ear, go through its left eye, nose, right eye, another ear, go back to the first ear, and then go down to finish this piece with its mouth.

And a little trick I figured for sculpturing eyes, nose and mouth: bend the middle tab, and reverse the sequence of holes for the ribbon going through. Using this method, we can easily make a small “bump” on this flat surface.

For its body part, I want to use a more stable and stronger structure to support its face and tail, so I developed another technique – I put three tabs in a row, one on top of the other two, and used two ribbons to “sew” them together — let the ribbon go through the hole of the top one, into the left tab under it, go back from the hole of the right tab, and finally come out of the same hole of the top tab — and then kept adding tabs: one above, one underneath, one above again… I gradually created rows of tabs, and then used another four ribbon to go through each row and tie them together.

Afterwards, I want to make its tail less stable and able to “move” around a little bit, so another technique is applied here – cut and attach each tabs together without a strip, so that they are not fully fixed together.

Then I wrapped the entire tail around a thin wire to support its form, and used the wire to connect its head, body and tail together.

After making the squirrel, I wrote a few sentences on small black tiles and placed them under it. I wanted to use them to mimic a squirrel who is trying to talk to us human-beings, and hope to inspire the audience to think about the importance of protecting the environment, and animals living around us.

 

Without connecting those tiles with sentences, they can be rearranged, replaced with others, or anything else people could imagine. This way it creates an open space for the viewers to interact with the piece itself and leave anything they want to say.