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The Waste Archive / Jesus Meseguer

The Waste Archive / Jesus Meseguer

Jesus Meseguer proposes The Waste Archive. This design project reuses local debris to reinterpret traditional Spanish furniture by subverting common imageries to critically comment on the ecological impact. Waste matter displays processes diluted in their form, texture, color, and odor.

Debris is commonly conceived as attribute-less matter. We should understand it as physical evidence as its materiality unearths entropic, ecological, cultural, and social trauma argues Jesus Meseguer. Waste raises questions on how to inhabit amid scraps and ruins. To accumulate the imprint of human activity on barren lands only fosters oblivion. However, to relocate debris into the present becomes a political act. By doing so, people can critically unveil the implicit dialectics that operate on waste. If the discharge resurfaces into the ordinary, it is possible to reappropriate the own ecological trace. As active subjects of this shared emergency, junk can be deconstructed as something generic, extrinsic, and finite. Waste represents a temporary category. It is arbitrary and prone to infinite renegotiations. The devalued emerges as the new.

The Earthenware Jug

Ph: Javier Arias 

Soils are no longer natural strata, they are anthropized products. Sludge is an earth-like matter obtained from the treatment of urban sewage wastewater. A black muddy stratum with a strong septic smell. Spain alone produces around 1,200,000 tonnes every year. The uncontrolled accumulation of these waste landscapes can generate insalubrious conditions. Inappropriate decontaminating processes cause the filtration of heavy metals and pathogens into the ground. Consequently, nearby fields and aquifers become toxic.   

Soil and water converge in the earthenware jug. The traditional Spanish pitcher, commonly made of clay, was used to store potable water. If the treated water is a modern construct, its container should evince it. Sludge displaces clay. The eschatology of waste is confronted with its sanitized wet source. Only then we can unearth and become aware of the invisible processes dissolved in urban water.  

The Cabinet

Ph: Javier Arias 

Gathered in stockpiles, debris awaits to be diluted. There is an unexplored time interval between what things were and what they become. A temporary interlude of junk after it starts to accumulate and before it dissolves in a furnace. In this frame, waste overlaps in unique arrangements. Reuse strategies can operate in this intermediate state.  

The translucent mold crystallizes an HEB beam remnant and four orange tree branches. Waste becomes the casted object. Their discharged properties are replicated to be repurposed. The distant origin of these residues converges into a new furniture piece. The cabinet becomes the setting where disparate relics coexist. In this case, a montage between the generic condition of a metal beam and the contextual quality of orange tree branches. A fragile natural trace sustains an anthropized matter.    

The table brazier

Ph: Javier Arias 

People are unaware of alpechin. A black, sour-smelling liquid made up of olive soft tissues and polluted water derived from olive oil production. Until recently, this toxic waste was dumped into rivers, affecting the hydric cycle and autochthonous non-human species. Now it accumulates in large ponds waiting to evaporate under the summer heat.  

Other olive residues, such as pruned branches and olive bones, also dissipate into fire heat. They have an entropic second life. This thermodynamic condition is found in the table brazier. An ordinary object used in winter as a gathering spot to warm up. A recurrent furniture piece in Spanish regions with an olive tree tradition. Territories are unaware of the residues they store. Through the proposed material update, the different dimensions of junk reunite. Discharged tree trunks, alpechin, olive stone ashes, branches, and olive collecting blankets coexist in this piece. The assembly unveils the unspoken lifeline of harvested natures.  

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