This project was occasioned by a 2008 exhibition called “The Crossing of Time and Environment,” curated by Ling-Wen Tsai in Toshei Village, Taiwan. I issued a public call for photographs of plastic bags snagged in trees and implicated myself as part of the problem by laminating the photographs I gathered by myself and others and sending them to be hung by plastic zip ties in trees on the “chosen barren land” where the exhibition occurred. The diptychs that follow this text represent the front and back of each piece laminated and hung from tree branches on the site (and collected later).
I titled my piece Bag Age, reflecting the proliferation of these petroleum-based products of convenience that are creating terrible hazards particularly for marine wildlife, and thus the entire ecosystem. Ironically, they can be extremely beautiful and when one seeks them with the intention of photographing them for an art exhibition, finding one feels “positive,” as though one has found an item on a treasure hunt. Our perspective on plastic and other conveniences has shifted over time as we have come a bit too slowly, sadly, to understand some fraction of the impact our insistent pursuit of convenience is having on nature.