los vagabundos stool ︎︎︎ questioning a city’s waste system

This project resulted in two stools that are intended to encourage rethinking. One of the objects is part of the exhibition Materials and culture, new territories, new aesthetics and new rituals by Materials Narratives in Barcelona.

  Sometimes we only become aware of the simplest things when we change location. While living in Barcelona I immediately noticed people with shopping carts that collect metal and other things from the streets and then sell it to junk shops for a few cents. Thanks to them, Barcelonians make themselves comfortable and simply put everything they no longer need on the street. What is worthless thrown away by some is the basis of life for others. Is that a healthy system?

This project questions the waste and recycling systems of a city using the example of Barcelona.

During the project week “Is a stool a stool?” by Luis Eslava Aloy at ELISAVA I rode my bike through the town every day to talk to the collectors and buy their best finds at a fair price. At the same time I went to the junk shops to talk to people there and also to buy things. Occasionally I was allowed to take a few photos of the trolleys and so a little documentation was created next to two chairs.

The project is inspired by the comic "Barcelona. Los Vagabundos de la chatarra" by Jorge Carrión Sagar. The point there is that crises, unemployment or displacement appear local, but are in reality universal arguments: The imbalances and injustices of the planet.

In addition to this lack of appreciation for the collectors, the los vagabundos stool also questions the respect for the materials and, in a broader sense, the environment.

© Benedikt Peirotén 2021