Live with Less at UAlbany

By Jessica Pasko

UAlbany trash exhibit .jpgThe new art exhibit at UAlbany is kind of trashy.


But it's also kind of cool. And it makes you think.

Brooklyn-based artist Jason Middlebrook has constructed a 35-foot tower in the center of the university's art museum and it's made entirely of cardboard collected on campus. The aptly-named "Cardboard Stacks" is part of a group of works called "Live With Less." With help from students, staff and faculty, several tons of cardboard was collected over a two-month period from the campus' recycling and garbage facilities.

Middlebrook's work is meant to draw attention to our wastefulness and to look at how discarded items can be used in other ways. He's displayed his environmentally-conscious pieces at museums all over the U.S. and Europe.

Other pieces in the UAlbany exhibit incorporate brightly colored aphorisms on life and old pieces of wood. There's also a large collection of "plastic bottles" cast from plaster and arranged to look like, well, garbage.

The exhibit's definitely worth checking out. At the official opening last night, refreshments were served with compostable cups and utensils- a nice little nod to Jason's exhibit.

Admission is free, but you'll need to bring 5 bucks for visitor parking. Or you can take the bus for $2.

Find It

UAlbany Art Museum
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222

Live With Less
UAlbany Art Museum
Feb. 4 -April 5
Tuesday-Friday, 10 - 5
Weekends, 12 to 4 pm
Phone: (518) 442-4035


Interesting that in one setting, it's called art. In another setting, it's called the landfill.

And on one side of Albany, people live in dilapidated houses & shop at the Salvation Army because they have to. And on the other side of Albany, artists are erecting statues of garbage in order to encourage people to be mindful of their waste.

I have no idea where I'm going with this. I guess that's all. Stay tuned for more pointless observations with Pantaloons, right here on AOA!

What does it smell like, I wonder?

Elizabeth - there was no noticeable smell. The cardboard looked pretty clean. I don't think it was dug out from overflowing dumpsters of food and crap, but rather taken from recycling bins on campus.

Am I the only one thinking Derelicte?

I have a similar installation going on right now. It's a very large pile of cardboard located in the basement of my building, in a dumpster. I call it, "Byproduct of moving three times in as many months".

UAlbany needs to stop this obsession with "going green". The school is constantly complaining about the energy use or garbage disposal habits by students but then leaves just about every light on in the academic podium and the residence halls 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a student, I see this art exhibit as another attempt to make students feel bad about their energy use and make sacrifices while the school itself is blindly wasting massive amounts of energy while SUNY is facing massive budget cuts and tuition hikes for students.

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