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January 8, 2011

Antarctic Item 013

antarctic-item-013-0055-500x4764

These days, all metal discards in Antarctica are collected, sorted, and shipped back to the States for recycling or re-use. U.S. research station residents dutifully sort their metal into three categories to facilitate the process: aluminum (mostly beverage cans), light metal (less than 1/4″ thick), and heavy metal (over 1/4″ thick). Aluminum and light metals are crushed into bales at McMurdo’s Waste Barn, while the heavy stock is loose-loaded onto a ship in big flatrack containers.

These protocols were put in place through the Antarctic Conservation Act of 1991 whose waste management regulations successfully reduced the impact of science research on the continent. I hope to convey the importance of these practices and show how Antarctica can be a model for managing waste in other environments by re-using these Antarctic discards in my artwork.


Filed under: Items Reclaimed from the Ice — mbartalos @ 11:39 pm

January 7, 2011

Antarctic Item 008

antarcticitem08-26-500x455

Littering is no longer permitted in Antarctica, so stray objects in the field are rare and tend to be decades old. The rare can is still of concern however, as aging metals disperse particles into the ecosystem. Their impact is particularly worrisome in sensitive biological environments such as the Dry Valleys where this can was found.


Filed under: Items Reclaimed from the Ice — mbartalos @ 11:39 pm

January 6, 2011

Antarctic Item 012

antarctic-item-012-0006-500x390

This week I’m posting more metal vessels to the blog’s Waste Stream Reclamation category where I catalog the discards I collected in Antarctica for use in my artwork.
Like many of my favorite finds, today’s item and the next two owe their transformed beauty to the continent’s punishing environment where they languished for decades.
This is an exceptionally tortured trio of cans, thoroughly stripped of labels by the
elements, rendering them Antarctica’s brand alone.


Filed under: Items Reclaimed from the Ice — mbartalos @ 11:38 pm

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