No. 163


By : Eleni Xynogala

Entrant’s location : Greece



What is Plastic? When people think of plastic, they probably imagine half-liter bottles, fields of straws, plastic pieces inside a dead bird, single-use bags fluttering in the wind or mountains piled high with plastic trash.
 But nobody thinks of the recycled plastic that is a supply of hygiene medical equipment or cosmic radiation protection. What is Plastic?
 Is it an evil monster that destroys the environment that mankind depends on? Or is it a friendly creature that represents the advancement of human civilization?
 We want people to understand that there are two sides to plastic. Depending on the way that people treat it, plastic can transform into a monster or a helper.
 What we need is not a world without plastic.
 What we need is to figure out how to use plastic in a better way. 2019

What did you create?

Our work consists of two parts. The first one, is a conceptual film in which a performer creates a dialogue with different plastic objects and guide us to rethink about plastic usage and its destination. The second one is an interactive installation - a creature- made of plastic waste, that will positively or negatively correspond to how people recycle. Our aim is to enhance the environmental consciousness while developing habits of people and communities with a common environmental vision. PLASTICITY is a holistic approach that combines direct environmental awareness approaches through an interactive installation along with educational activities, towards to the development of an environmental community.

Why did you make it?

Plastic pollution results in physical, chemical and biological harm of the whole ecosystem. We produce a lot of plastic and in some cases, it is not possible to replace it as a material. The separation of recyclable from non-recyclable plastic is difficult and requires time, effort and money. Governments, in some cases, are taking action. There are certain industries, recycling factories, which are sorting plastic waste in predefined categories, but the ratio of sorting this plastic waste in contrast with the speed in which people produce plastic trash, is too low. Most people feel that the relationship between them and plastic objects stops immediately when the trash leaves from their hand. But is this the end? The ocean is full of plastic. Fish is living in the ocean with plastics. Fish is eating plastic. We are eating fish. So, what do we eat, exactly? The change of the plastic management system is in our hands. We take action as individuals or as a unified community instead of waiting for the “big companies” to manage the problem. We believe that through social awareness, and by promoting environmental empathetic actions, we can affect people’s subconsciousness on taking action and make a positive change, maximizing the environmental impact.

How did you make it?

The audience visits the exhibition and can experience our holistic approach. First, the user watches the film to experience our artistic representation of the human relationship with plastic and question the plastic destination. As a second step, the audience interacts with the installation as well as the smart bin. The user has two choices to discard either plastic or paper in the PLASTICITY bin. His/her choice will activate the installation to move and sound in a joyful or disturbing way, respectively. This reaction gives a symbolic message to the user – the power of change depends on you; the recycling management system is in each individual’s hand. Additionally to the aforementioned experience, the user is able to connect with our website and become part of the community. A smart bin is integrated with the installation, therefore the “creature” has the ability to properly recognize trash and classify them into recycling categories. When people sort their trash correctly, the creature will be activated as an alive and joyful helper, moving and creating joyful sound. On the other hand, when you don’t recycle properly, the creature will be transformed into a monster, roaring and acting aggressively.

Your entry’s specification

The installation is mounted in a metallic truss 3mx1,5mx3m. In the top of the truss, there is a matrix of 17×8 points, made of plastic pieces and metallic wheels, which allow a flow movement of all 136 installed strings. In the strings, there are attached, a plastic sheet 5,5mx3m as well as 100 plastic gloves filled with water and air. The strings are attached in chains which are pulled by strings, that are coming through a wooden structural mounting construction which connects them with a spiral shaft. The entire “Creature’s” mechanical transmission is realized by this eccentric shaft, which is made by circular wooden pieces and metallic bearings. The entire construction contains only one stepper motor, a gearbox which drives the wave movement and also an Arduino microcontroller which controls both the direction and the speed of the shaft. In the bin, we use an RGB camera as an identification sensor, which is connected with a microcomputer Jetson Nano. A multi Label Classification (MLC) model is used to classify the material of the waste as plastic or other types.