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Landfillharmonic Orchestra: Paraguayan slum kids who play instruments made from recycled landfill

NoDeg sez, "Here's a video of children who live in a slum in Paraguay playing instruments made from recycled material." They call themselves the Landfillharmonic Orchestra. Their story is sweet and inspiring, and the instruments -- and the music they make -- are absolutely gorgeous. They successfully funded a Kickstarter to expand this into a full-length documentary, too.

Landfill Harmonic- The world sends us garbage... We send back music. (Thanks, Nodeg)

Life-sized mammoth skeleton made out of scrap farm-equipment


Jud Turner sez, "My latest piece is a life-sized Columbia Mammoth skeleton made from 95% recycled material, mostly old farm equipment. It was created as a commission for Pacific Studio, and will be permanently displayed at the new Moses Lake Museum and Art Center, which is in Washington state. In 1950, a farmer found parts of a Columbia mammoth while digging an irrigation ditch, so this sculpture ties those two elements together. Part of the challenge in building it in my studio in Eugene, OR was that I had to make it in a way that it could be taken apart, and re-assembled without any additional welding. Just taking it down was one of the scariest operations I've ever undertaken in the studio (over a ton of sharp, rusty steel 15 feet in the air had to be lowered with manual genie-lifts.)"

Mammoth (Thanks, Jud!)

Dragon made from disposable dollar-store cutlery


DeviantArt's ~toge-NYC hot-glued this awesome dragon out of plastic disposable cutlery and cups, slaving over it for 80 hours, "completely freestyle - no plans/blueprints/drafts."

Plasticdragon (via Craft)

Sailing research cruise through the path of the Japanese tsunami to examine the resulting garbage patch


Travelina sez, "It's not your typical glamour cruise, but it's not cheap either. You travel aboard a 72-foot sailing yacht from the Marshall Islands through the great ocean vortex called the Western Pacific Gyre to Tokyo, and then from Tokyo you follow the path of the Japan tsunami debris with the purpose of sampling it, ending up in Hawaii 32 days later."

The samples they collect during several transects of the field will be used to determine and refine existing models of how fast the material is moving, how quickly it is decomposing, and the nature of the material's colonization by marine animals. Past trips to study marine debris with these organizations have attracted everyone from independent scientists to film crews and artists.

Findings gleaned from the tsunami debris are particularly significant because, unlike concentrated marine pollution elsewhere, the tsunami material's "launch" date and place of origin are known. With this information, researchers can better understand how land-based materials like plastics behave in the ocean.

One of the participants, Valerie Lecoeur, 41 of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, said she hopes to see where plastic accumulates in the ocean firsthand.

"For me it's interesting to see that there is debris from the ocean coming from events like tsunami—things that you can't control—and things that you can control as well."

Japan Tsunami-Debris Cruise Attracts Travelers to Ocean Garbage Patch (Thanks, Travelina!)

Fine art recreated with plastic tchotchke assemblages


Tom Deininger is an assemblage artist who arranges bewilderingly large collections of odd plastic tchotchkes into gorgeous pieces, including this Monet-like masterpiece.

(via Craft)

Dense, beautiful sculptures made from thrift scores


Swedish sculptor Michael Johansson creates beautiful, dense sculptures made from charity shop and yard-sale finds, arranged by similarity in tetrisoids and other odd fittings. Check out the link for some enormous pieces made from carefully fitted furniture, as well.

Michael Johansson (via Core 77)