Day 346: Junk

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December 11, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

I had a worrisome thought recently.  It was yet another unsavory revelation following the broader realization that people – humans – you and I and everyone we all know – spend a lot of our time with our heads in the sand.  Willingly.  We might be doing it because of ego (living in our own worlds, where very little really matters), or out of fear (wouldn’t you be afraid of a world run by people with their heads in the sand?).  Our brains have evolved to pay attention to a very narrow spectrum – just wide enough to reproduce, really.  Unfortunately, that means our minds are innately limited, and either unable or unwilling to widen the band without a lot of effort.  I’m starting to realize what that effort is like.  It isn’t easy, but I’m pretty sure that the fate of our civilization, our species and perhaps every species now depends upon us defying some of the cognitive restraints that have evolved over eons of reproductively selective pressure.  Think about what we, as a species, do for the sake of short-term gains – pleasure, profit or power.  Think about what costs we defer.  Think about how much thought we put into that cost deferral, and how much thought we invest in resolving that cost after we can defer it no longer.  Get scared, then get smarter.  Today’s project might help a lot of people start.

BALED is a photo exhibit showcasing the things we waste.  It offers a tiny glimpse into the mountain of things we continue to sweep under the rug.  It might be enough to make you wonder how much longer we expect to get away with it.  At least that’s what it’s doing to me.  Whatever the case may be, I encourage you to join me in taking a peek at the things we put out of sight and out of mind, once they’ve departed from our homes and offices on the garbage truck.  Back it before December 14.


These recycling bales are of  enormous proportions. Some are 5 feet tall and extend wider than 7 feet. Shot on large format film and intended for view in galleries, you can  own and contribute to my project through an extremely limited edition of prints not offered to the gallery and collecting community.


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