Studio Work > Michigan: Land of Riches (2010)

Land of Riches (RICHES vitrine detail)
Land of Riches (RICHES vitrine detail)
Found object collection, latex paint, vinyl text

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“Disposable” lighters". We use that phrase unconsciously, failing to consider the absurdly irresponsible values it suggests.

1.5 billion “disposable” lighters are buried in landfills each year, useless.Each is constructed of non-biodegradable plastic, low-grade steel, and filled with a concentrate of highly-refined butane. Mining and manufacturing these raw materials consumes oil and water in the millions of gallons.

Discarded disposable lighters are so commonplace in the gutters of our city - another layer of brightly colored trash - that for over a decade of collecting found objects I simply ignored them.

Only in January of 2009 did I begin to pick them up, which renders it both remarkable and disturbing that my collection already exceeds 200.