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beg, borrow, or steal… or dumpster dive?

06/30/10

I can’t bring my keyboard to the Netherlands cause it’ll cost too much.  We can’t bring wood or glass or soil or plants or microphones or speakers or drills or saws or screws or nails either.  Where will we find what we need?  Here in Los Angeles, there’s lots of trash for us to dig through – our own and other peoples’, too.  I ripped up my broken flashlight for its generator, and Jack drilled through pennies to make washers for Planetarium’s projector.  Kyoung called USC’s custodial department to find plastic bottles for Aquarium.  We mined bits of wood from the super shop’s scrap pile and bummed plastic gears and wire off friends.  We were able to beg or borrow most of what we needed, though we occasionally did have to buy.  I rode a bike through honking Hollywood traffic once when the projector broke right before an Environmentaland event only to realize I didn’t have my wallet when I got to Home Depot.  So I stole a handful of washers and screws… which actually seemed more appropriate than buying them.  Maybe I’m just trying to make myself feel better.  Sorry, y’all.

But back to the future – Apparently, there isn’t much of a trash problem in the Netherlands!  Apparently, people use what they buy and that which is thrown away is quickly and efficiently dealt with by some mystical magical European infrastructure unlike our sluggish, corrupt, and wasteful waste services here at home.  So what are we to do?

How do we beg or borrow from total strangers?  Certainly we shouldn’t steal (not that we ever should have.. eek).  What good is dumpster diving in a land of empty dumpsters? Or, at least, dumpsters not overflowing with materials thrown out by unimaginative Americans always hungry for The New.  I hope I am overestimating The Dutch!

But, just to be on the safe side, I’m going to try to make some friends to borrow from–  Utilizing ye grand ol Internet, I’m just gonna ask everybody in the Netherlands to be my friend.  I’m going to post on craigslist, facebook, community message boards, local publications’ websites, artist blogs, school blogs, and anything else I can find: Reclamation!  Coming to a town near you.  Ideally, some folks will be interested in (or at least intrigued by) our project, will lend a hammer or an amp, will come out to the opening or an event, will ask us questions about why we’ve come from so far away to do something so… well, to do whatever it is that we end up doing and will tell us what they think about it.  At the very least, I’m hoping to find a keyboard – or a guitar or a toy drum or a fuckin triangle – because I will rip my face off if I can’t play music for two months.

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