I’ve been compiling my friends trash and collaging it into animated abstract landscapes. Friends save their ephemera for months at a time for me, even mailing it cross-country in some cases. Whenever someone moves it usually entails a huge inheritance of "art supplies" for me. I tell them dry, flat, "glue stick-able" items work best, and PLEASE- nothing "organic" (like rotting food). Otherwise, I ask them to be earnestly unselective as I wish to work with a comprehensive body of scraps from their lives and not just the carefully chosen pieces they feel contain more "artistic content".
When enough ephemera is accumulated from one source, I organize it into various themes. Some are dictated by the content alone: "Bills", "Flyers", "Take out menus". Some are categorized more subjectively: "Important Documents", "Intimate/Handwritten", and "Personal Hobbies". Others fall into simple formal divisions: žPlasticÓ, žInteresting TextureÓ, or žSuper Fun ColorsÓ. Once the organization is complete, I gravitate towards the debris that characterizes what I enjoy most in that person and begin a series. I start off unsure what will be revealed. Direction presents itself through instinctive associations made between the categorized trash and my feelings for the "Debris Donor".
The voyeuristic intimacy in sorting through my friends rubbish often gives me insights about them I was unaware of before, coinciding with a greater understanding and appreciation for the nature of our mutual attraction. Ultimately, in allowing me access to their personal trash, the bond between us grows stronger.