Economies and Narratives of Urban Peripheries - Regeneration, Recycling and Fetish

Panel with Michael Billig (muellrausch.de), Ingeborg Lockemann, Jens Casper (Das Garagenmanifest) and Birgit Schlieps

Short Lectures and Discussion [in German]

The ever-growing mountain of garbage, the growth of the discarded, the obsolete, can be seen as an expression of the relationship between man and nature in industrial societies. It is true that the controlled landfill, where the waste products are supposedly peacefully stored, sealed all around and supposed to disappear, promises that the world of goods and consumption will remain without consequences. But things rather lead a material life of their own and become even more obvious under the conditions of formlessness and egalitarianism. Illegal landfills form strange landscapes in the urban peripheries, the artifacts mingle with nature, fuse into new assemblages, a laboratory of different and unpredictable reactions. Depots as places for the valuable things that have the potential to be used now seem to be the opposite. Yet there is a common boundary that connects the two practices and places, and that can be crossed by things in either direction so what is archived decays, loses value, or what is dumped is exhumed: what seemed useless is recognized as valuable raw material. Landfills also become cultural counter-archives and subjects of garbage studies, which are explored with the means of archaeology.

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© Michael Billig, Ingeborg Lockemann, Birgit Schlieps, Luise Rellensmann
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