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  • Writer's pictureBalkan Art Scene

Plastic — Affective Memory and Waste

Author: Hana Tiro

‘Plastic. Affective memory and waste’ is a cultural project developed by a young creative team from Bucharest, Romania, that proposes a foray into the world of plastics. They encourage public dialogue and question practices, representations and uses of plastics both on an individual level and within the socially shared space.

Creatives developing the project are Alina Tofan multidisciplinary artist, member of the Time Based Arts group within Arts University Bucharest. Her area of practice explores unique ways of communicating with all the senses. Her goal is to express as many feelings as possible through the body. Georgiana Vlahbei has been engaged in visual documentation in ethnographic/cultural anthropology research for the past 10 years. Her photography journey began in 2014. In 2020, she had her first exhibition of conceptual photography. Alexandru Claudiu Maxim is a video artist from the new Romanian wave, interested in inter-disciplinarity. He works both as a visual artist and as a performer, regularly participating in exhibitions. Teo Rădulescu is an architect passionate about the relationship between sound and space. For him, sound determines the rhythm of the city life, influences emotions and thoughts. He questions through his art the missing sounds of a space.

They want to sound the alarm on plastic pollution and unsustainable consumption. The project proposes a symbolic recycling of the remnants of the globalizing capitalism (as it is felt in the Romanian cultural and social context starting from the ‘90s until now); an x-ray of the distance interposed by the plastic filter of consumption between people and the natural environment. The strong social message is delivered through the production of visual works:

an art performance, experimental sound design, video-art, video mapping, conceptual photography, a VR experience.


It's hard to avoid guilt when thinking of plastic.

We see in plastic the (all-)culprit, the author of the collapse of ecosystems

and the economy.

We view in others’ waste the source of loss of the four seasons.

However, we produce-consume-over-produce-over-consume.

We pollute, we lack integration, while recycling is rarely efficient.

We make use, we rejoice and then we discard.

Our pleasures are disposable.

We carry it with us, inside of us. It’s indispensable, indestructible.

Rubber soother, toy, ashtray, can...

Is it truly necessary for plastic to become all these?

Nature is not the opposite of plastic.

Plastic is not inferior to Nature.

Can the two coexist without endangering each other?

We work outside labels, rather - we investigate and interrogate.

This is a subjective exploration in the world of plastics,

An exploration of its affective memory and waste.


Asphyxia is a videoperformance born from the attempt to experience through body and senses the inner, hidden world of plastics. It challanges us to breathe at the same pace with a slowly suffocating planet.

An urban corner turns into a confessional space, looking for shapes generated by the chameleonic plastic and trying to breathe with it, through it. How does plastic breathe?

Plastic did not choose to appear among us, just as none of us choose to be born in a form that society rejects or accepts. The 'all-guilty' plastic reminds us of the things we want to forget or discard - consequences, responsibility. We project onto it all our ‘garbage’ (physical, moral, social) gathered over the years. Plastic exposes our collective vulnerabilities. Through this corporeal-visual experiment, they draw attention upon the effects of plastic waste and irresponsible consumerism, on humans and nature.

Plastic. Intimate. Collective – photography series

Part one: Breathing

Part three: Fragile

Aim o the project "PLASTIC. AFFECTIVE MEMORY AND WASTE" is to provide a starting point for a fresh cultural look and a an artistic reflection on the internalization of plastic in almost all areas of daily life, probing and questioning the effects of this ubiquity.

Project is supported by MACAIA Association (Bucharest, Romania) and co-financed by the Cultural Fund Administration (Romania).

Follow them on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube.


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