Paul Bulteel's forthcoming art book, Cycle & Recycle, collects the Belgian photographer's series of images from Europe's massive, advanced recycling program, which captures 43% of the region's waste (the EU is shooting for 65% of municipal waste by 2030).
He started Cycle & Recycle in late 2013. While exploring Antwerp harbor, he stumbled on mounds of crushed building materials often used as a base for new roads. He snapped a photo, and realized that making pictures of recycling was a more optimistic way of talking about waste. Over the next year and a half, Bulteel visited 50 recycling operations throughout Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Luxemburg. Some were part of multinational conglomerates, while others were locally owned businesses. The materials they recycled were equally diverse. Some did it all. But others specialized in things like clothing or tires. Everywhere Bulteel went, he was astounded by the enormous volume of material passing through each raucous factory. “It makes you realize what enormous quantities of material we extract from and leave behind on this planet,” he says.
The images convey that beautifully, and the images are so gorgeous it’s easy to forget you’re looking at trash. A pile of orange and pink pyro cables resembles an artsy sculptural installation. Tinned copper pulled from electrical motors looks like bundles of human hair. Neatly stacked tires create an almost hypnotic pattern. Bulteel shoots each scene simply, placing the colors, textures and sheer volume of the refuse front and center.
Cycle & Recycle [Paul Bulteel/Hatje Cantz
Trash Is Ugly, But Recycling Is Downright Beautiful [Laura Mallonee]
I've often said that science fiction doesn't tell you much about the future, but it sure tells you a lot about the present: the fact that we're still citing Frankenstein and the Terminator tells you that we're worried about being carried away by our technology, the fact that we're still citing The Matrix tells you […]
Back in 1984, a lonely, weird kid calling himself Grandmaster Ratte' formed a hacker group in Lubbock, Texas. called the Cult of the Dead Cow, a name inspired by a nearby slaughterhouse. In the decades to come, cDc would become one of the dominant forces on the BBS scene and then the internet -- endlessly […]
I was already a Terry Pratchett fan and a Neil Gaiman fan in 1990, when their comedic novel Good Omens showed up in the bookstore I worked at, and I dibsed it, took it home over the weekend, read it in huge gulps, and wrote an enthusiastic review on a 3x5 card that I tacked […]
So you’ve visited the Kennedy Space Center every year. You’ve watched “The Right Stuff” for the 95th time. There must be something to do while you’re waiting to join Space Force for the next manned mission to Mars or the moon. Here’s a combo that should raise a salute from any fan of space or […]
Looking for a new tablet? If you haven’t upgraded in a while, it might be time to check out the latest iPad Pro for two very good reasons. First, the 2018 model is a real workhorse. The 12X Bionic chip processor means it can handle any task you set out for it, and still have […]
You want wireless earbuds to make an impact on your mood and workout, not the environment. If that’s the case, we’ve got a new contender for AirPod market share: Brio Phantom X7 True Wireless Earbuds. The features on these tiny, comfortable buds are impressive even without the environmental angle. Their Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity is good […]