TrashTara

Compassionate deity of the dregs
Performance, Visual Art, Interactivist
2014

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About TrashTara

TrashTara, compassionate deity of the dregs, will take to the streets of Manhattan in 2014. Since 2006, I've been accumulating materials for this alter ego. My grandmother's old nightgown, a plasticized green tablecloth, mesh produce bags, and paper clippings from an animated film seemed important to her voice, but not until a coral restoration trip in 2009 to Bali did I know her name. Mylar bags slapping me in the face underwater inspired me to concentrate on this topic out of my curiosity to go beneath the surface of pollution politics to learn how people respond and react to our endless supply of "garbage."

By becoming TrashTara, an iteration of the bodhisattva, Green Tara of enlightened activity, I face my own conflicts with waste and excess, abundance and consumption, not from denial, guilt, or shame, but rather motivated by a compassionate impulse to explore, play, and activate. TrashTara is trash-neutral. Judging or complaining is outside of her realm. She's an undercover spiritual investigator capturing trash, impromptu conversation, photos, and video as she goes out day and night with her Catch-All. Fluorescing proteins will light up her headdress. Here you see photos of luminous experiments taking place at Genspace with Co-founder and Director of Scientific Programs, Oliver Medvedik, Ph.D. TrashTara's participatory art will culminate in an exhibit made possible in part with public funds from the Manhattan Community Arts Fund, supported by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and administered by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council.

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