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Jul 16, 2017

Making Plastic Precious

Bijenkorf, a big fancy warehouse located in the middle of Amsterdam, asked us to showcase Precious Plastic in their massive windows by Dam Square. This is what we did.

Bijenkorf windows filled with plastic waste.
Bijenkorf windows filled with plastic waste.
This article is part of Precious Plastic, a One Army project tackling the plastic waste problem. You can learn more

A few months ago we were asked to be part of Room on the Roof, a department of Bijenkorf that runs several projects a year with different artists. They asked us to show Precious Plastic in their shopping windows. The spot they gave us is just amazing, 2 massive windows right in the middle of a super busy street in Amsterdam.

The easy thing would have been to put some of our machines in that glass cubical. However, we didn’t really feel like showcasing them, Youtube is better at that. One of our core goals is to show people plastic is not a cheap and disposable material but Precious (hence our name if you didn’t notice 😀). The interesting element is that this is a super fancy store, they normally sell exclusive items- Prada, Louis Vuitton Chanel etc. A world that usually doesn’t mix well with recycled plastic.

gif throwing plastic into a shopindow
Filling the shopwindow with precious plastic waste.

We proposed them a few ideas, and as often happens, the one we had the least hopes for (but loved the most) got selected. The idea was to fill one of the windows full of household trash and the other with a valuable plastic object from Precious Plastic. Trash can be a treasure.  Plastic can be precious.
We didn’t imagine they would pick the option where we stuff their store with garbage 😆. But they did. A dream of a life time.

plastic recycled diamond
The Precious Plastic diamond.

Back in our workspace, we started researching and playing around with experimental art objects, our focus quickly pointed at crystals, gems and minerals. Beautiful valuable rocks of raw material. We started crafting our own, handmade from plastic “waste”. Anthropocenic gem.

We had to come up with a brand new technique to make big solid objects (17kg) that could blend color together with layers of transparency. We now call this technique plastic BBQ- where a bunch of friends come together, often until late at night, melting plastic and eating veggie burgers.

The result is a fully handcrafted and polished stone ready for refined audiences.

This is our first experimental step towards shifting society’s view on plastic. No cheap and disposable anymore but a valuable Precious material. A full collection of art objects will be shown during the DDW in October 🎉

bunch of plastic waste
A precious waste.

shopwindow filled with plastic waste
Showcasing Precious Plastic in Dam Square, Amsterdam.

The installation will be at Bijenkorf Amsterdam until the end of July.
Special thanks to Wasted for bringing us Amsterdam household waste and Room on the Roof for inviting us 🙂

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