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Bob Johnson, Wheel Cube, 38 tire rims collected from the Pittsburgh Pool, Tireless Project, Summer 2003.

ATM & RiverCubes

A leading proponent of "Artful Trash Management", artist Bob Johnson creates "River Cubes", public sculptures that creatively harvest waste streams and transform the resulting bounty into lively conversations and mute testaments to what our culture leaves behind.

The artist calls it "philosophy in action with a sense of humor: serious fun fostering systematic redemption of the stuff we produce and discard." Each "River Cube", has a story to tell and involves volunteers, property owners and students in the garbage collection process. Once compressed into a cube, the resulting object may include everything from old tires, wooden debris, shopping carts, rope or even a car seat. Many are placed alongside park trails near where they were found. They are beautiful, shocking, uncomfortable and educational. This is the anti-monument: infinitely repeatable celebrations/warnings of the growing ubiquity of trash. By engaging the public with the display and making of his art, Johnson aims "to bewilder, provoke, and inspire awareness & action."

Although compacted into discrete cubes, these artworks extend powerfully into their environment. "RiverCubes Projects begin with river site scouting. Asking local people on or near rivers: Where has junk been dumped along   . .(Read more)


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