There Is No Place Called Away

Ben Kauffman

Responding to the challenge of keeping all of my garbage for a month, I have designed a series of "personal landfills": objects and actions that bring the impacts of waste and landfilling into the context of the body and personal space.


What would happen if, instead of allowing my garbage to be taken to a landfill, I kept it close? This question is the driving force of There Is No Place Called Away. The motivations of the project are to both learn about the workings of modern landfills and re-consider a facet of our society that is often ignored. Beyond an intellectual inquiry, it is meant to bring a subject often defined by distance nearer to my body. To carry this out, I have designed an installation of "personal landfills" to contend with one month of my garbage, both practically and philosophically. It features vacuum-sealed garbage pods, a mobile landfill, photographs and video, telling a poetic narrative of what it might really mean to throw our garbage "away."