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Is this Rock? Image by Meredith Miller and Thom Moran

Is This Garbage?
Group Under in conversation with Meredith Miller and Thom Moran
Wednesday, July 1, 7:00 PM

The Geological Survey of America recently named a new type of stone, a hybrid of the natural and manmade: plastiglomerate. This scientific term is unusually clear for the lay person. Plastic by-products (courtesy of humans) are fusing with rock and forming a new, pollution-inflected entry in the geological record. Is this garbage?

One reaction to plastiglomerate is to bemoan a world so polluted that even our rocks now contain garbage. While not a cause for celebration, no one can blame garbage for finding its way into geological permanence. After all, garbage, like humans, is not separate from nature.

Is this garbage useful or valuable? Meredith Miller and Thom Moran, professors of architecture at the University of Michigan, are attempting to answer both of the above questions by producing their own plastiglomerates and testing their potential as an aesthetically-considered building material. Their interventions onto this naturally occurring phenomenon blurs the line between what is discarded and what is valued.


Is This Garbage? is part of a series of public installations with accompanying talks given on unrealized projects and works-in-progress. Topics have included typeface revivals, Yiddish literature, Greek philosophy and architecture typologies. The series aims to provide an open platform for feedback, discussion and criticism.

Installations and discussions are arranged by Group Under and held at The Bakery, a gallery and studio space located 325 Rutledge Street, Williamsburg, NYC.

Free and open to the public.