Archaeology in Waste

Glean Artist Danielle here!

In starting my residency with the Glean program I wanted to imagine myself as an archaeologist trying to piece together the history of some the objects that find their way to the Metro Transfer Station. From investigating these objects I hope to learn more about Portland’s community and it’s history of making waste. Just think how excited a modern day archaeologist would be to come across an ancient greek landfill- Imagine the things they would learn about that ancient society! I’m hoping to use similar techniques and research styles to learn about contemporary waste culture.

So far the underlying thing that has intrigued me the most is the human element in the objects I’ve found. I continue to be drawn towards very personal or mysterious things that someone has thrown away. Here is some of what I’ve collected and researched thus far:

Hidden Brick Company Bricks

Date Found:
2/24/17
Location: Rubble Pile
Item#: 1
History: The Hidden Brick Company was founded by Lowell Mason Hidden in Vancouver Wa in the 1870’s. The company ran until 1990 making bricks by hand. The company is well know for the St. James Cathedral and Providence Academy buildings.

Parlez Vous Greeting Card & Envelope

Date Found: 3/7/17
Location: Public Dumping Area
Item#:2
History: Parlez Vous Greeting Cards was founded in 2001 by Oregon Artist Juliana Smith. This card was printed c.2001 and while originally intended to congratulate on a new baby, was used by the card’s writer to say goodbye to someone about to take a trip. (Note: “I was shitty last night, I’m sorry!”)

You can follow more of my finds on Instagram @archaeosphere.projects

Thanks for reading! More artifacts soon to come.

-Danielle Schlunegger-Warner