Treasures in the Trash: Transmuting Value

Every semester that I teach museum anthropology we begin with few weeks of discussion and analysis of collecting and value. During this period we look at the impulse to collect, the way objects are given value in sociocultural contexts and how this happens through social practices. This past weekend I came upon a great little short documentary which  tells the story of a discerning sanitation worker—a connoisseur of trash—who rescues pieces he identifies as potentially valuable, and brings them together in a collection that he has elaborately stored and curated. The assemblages have grown in value as he has added objects over time—even as some of that collected value has rubbed off on individual objects.

And, of course, the filmmakers documentary (and even this short blog post!) contribute to the practices that are further enhancing the value of the garbage through the fantastic alchemy of collection and display.

Treasures in the Trash from HELLER films on Vimeo.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: