Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about contemporary art. I like interactive, weird, crazy stuff, breaking boundaries, making us question the definition and impulse of art. I don’t even mind if you sound a tad pretentious by telling us in the brochure about the “raw sexual energy” that your piece represents. But please, in this day and age, when the environment and “being green” is on everyone’s conscience, how can anyone justify huge, styrofoam, mountain-like structures covered in spray paint? The only way this piece could have been worse for the environment was if it had been powered by gasoline. What happens to all this styrofoam once the exhibit is over?
Which brings me to my next question: what is the artist’s responsibility to the environment? It is our duty as residents of this planet to consider the world around us in whatever work we do, artist or not. If you work in an office, you have to consider the amount of paper you use, and do you have paper coffee cups or reusable mugs. Artists need to be creating with a consciousness of the world around us and our effect on it. There needs to be a world for future generations to make art in.
Check out these links of artists using the garbage and destruction around them to create environmentally conscious art (as well as a clip of Slavoj Zizek at the dump):