Waterfront Found

September 19-26
Portland, Oregon USA
Eastbank Esplanade, between Burnside and Hawthorne

Installations and interventions about garbage, street culture and social inclusion

Photos from the event


This event is a project of red semilla roja


Taylor Cass Stevenson


Installation and Intervention Artists (bios below):

Special thanks to The Black Rock Arts Foundation, The Oregon Electric Group, Outside In, P:ear, and Street Roots for their help with this project



Homeless House
Jason Ehlers (Caveman)

Ehlers' Homeless House was constructed with materials he found in dumpsters and on the streets. The roof was shingles with painted plastic containers and tetrapack boxes. Ehlers wheeled the house from his studio in NW to the SE Esplanade. After Live Debris, the house will be given to whichever homeless person chooses to wheel it off the esplanade. This installation was sponsored by Outside In, a social service agency helping homeless youth and other marginalized people move towards improved health and self-sufficiency.

Dandelion Bench
Tim Combs and The Reclamation Project
As The Reclamation Project, Tim Combs attempts to save the universe, one piece of art at a time, through the creation of art and craft from reclaimed and found materials and by spreading a message of reuse, sustainability and community connection.
For Live Debris, I wanted to stretch my craft away from the woodcarvings that I normally make. The Dandelion Bench works as a focal point, a node of intersection for the themes of reuse, sustainability and community by creating an interactive sculpture/bench made from reclaimed materials to explore using the ubiquitous dandelion as a local source of rubber.


Clothing Exchange
red semilla roja and Create Plenty (Cheryl Lohrmann)
Cheryl Lohrmann has been encouraging people to take 3-month long plastic-free challenges with her group Leave No Plastic Behind since 2007. Participants make 12" square patches to add to the LNPB National Plastic Quilt Project. You can, too! LNPB is now a project of Create Plenty, a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization which is getting serious about making waste look silly and innovating among local food systems.

Clothing swap parties, affectionately known as Naked Lady Parties (NLPs), have become a mark of DIY culture. DIY of the punk era has evolved into a movement of tough crafters and creative non-consumers who appreciate getting together and sharing things. Clothing swap parties offer everything from an evening spent with friends to the revitalization of your wardrobe (be that gaining something new or getting rid of something you should have let go ages of ago). For this public clothes swap, you don’t necessarily need to trade. If you need some ‘new’ clothes, go ahead and simply take.
Make a t-shirt bag on Cheryl’s solar-powered sewing machine:
In an effort to Leave No Plastic Behind, you can have an old t-shirt (perhaps even the one you’re wearing) transformed into a reusable grocery bag. Special thanks to Cheryl Lohrmann, for donating the use of her sewing machine today, and to the Oregon Electric Group, for delivering and donating the use of their solar energy module. www.oregon-electric.com

red semilla roja
red semilla roja is an international network for socially-minded artists and creatively-minded activists. The website documents individuals and organizations around the world, including projects like Live Debris, carried out by artist Taylor Cass Stevenson.

Interactive Garbage Weaving
The Sea Change Gallery
SEA = Social Environmental Art. SEA Change is a gallery and community event space in Portland, co-curated by Katherine Ball and Alec Neal. SEA Change's mission is to advocate for environmental consciousness, animal rights, and social justice via art exhibits and community events open to all walks of life. SEA Change is located at the Everett Station Lofts nonprofit artist community in the historic Old Town/Chinatown district of downtown Portland, Oregon. In addition to curating social and environmental art exhibits, SEA Change’s space is offered free of charge to community-based groups and individuals for events, lectures, gatherings, music, and performances intent on making the world a better place for us all to share.
One of Sea Change’s exhibitions featured Julia Sherman’s room-sized loom, which weaves discarded materials into a tapestry. Sea Change and volunteers from Outside In have mounted an adaptation of Sherman’s loom with plastic bailing twine from Ekone Ranch (www.ekone.org) and local trash.

Cubic Consumption
Ryan Birkland and P:ear
Ryan Birkland is a painter living in Portland, Oregon. He has been painting and selling his work in Portland for the last ten years. His primary medium is reverse painting on old recycled windows. He also uses a variety of recycled materials for surfaces of his pieces. For this project, Ryan is working in collaboration with p:ear youth. p:ear is an organization that mentors homeless youth through art, education and recreation. www.pearmentor.org. Cubic Consumption is 160 cubic feet - which is the average amount of trash consumed/discarded by the average American in just under one year.

Rust in Peace
Daniel Dancer
Daniel Dancer is a conceptual artist who works with people around the world to create massive images for the sky. He then photographs the images from above. This piece, an old television encased in a barbed wire ball, is one of his many works using garbage that can be dangerous when discarded. His largest barbed wire ball sits at Ekone Ranch, part of the Sacred Earth Foundation land trust in Goldendale, Washington. His current project there is helping to manage the White Eagle Memorial Preserve, one of two green burial grounds in the US. www.ekone.org

Trash Mash-Up Parade
Trash Mash-Up (TMU) is a collaborative community art project from San Francisco, California. Using disposable materials, collected before they enter the waste stream, participants construct “Maskostumes” which are original pageant masks and costumes inspired by traditions from around the world. This project reduces waste and inspires people to see each other and our environment in a new way. TMU shares cultural traditions with diverse communities in public performances and workshops. Reducing waste by using trash to make art, TMU reminds all of that one person's trash could become an entire city's treasure.
Trash Mash-Up culminates with a Mash-Up Bash, a public performance pageant. Transforming parks and city squares with a visual spectacle made of music, movement, and “Maskostumes”, spectators enjoy works of art created from things disregarded by one person and then given new life through another’s imagination. With trash bag boas and bottle-cap chain mail, Trash Mash-Up builds creative connections and raises environmental awareness throughout our community as a new urban tradition is fostered.
Trash Mash-Up is directed by a sister team both who graduated from the Dell'Arte International School of Physical Theatre. Drawing from their talent for creating original theatrical productions and their commitment to serving their community, TMU creates socially and environmentally conscious art. The McCracken sisters are based in San Francisco, California and continue to work with their community partners on creating a new urban tradition. Next up, TMU will be featured at the San Francisco Green Festival 2009 in the Green Kids Zone.

Wheat Paste Wall
Klutch, international artists and you.
This Wheat Paste Wall was started years ago by Klutch, with submissions from artists around the world. It is now being reused and added on to for Live Debris. Please feel free to paste up a paper image of your own.
How to Make Wheat Paste:
Mix 3 Tbsp white flour with just enough water to wet it. Mix it into 1 cup hot water. Bring to boil until mixture thickens, stirring constantly. Let cool and use. Wheat Paste is stronger than white glue.


Record Spinners
Christine Claringbold and Anitra Cameron

Christine Claringbold of Portland, Oregon is an artist, a teacher, a mom, and a backup singer for local rock & roll spectacle Dartgun & the Vignettes. She launched Eye Pop Art in 2003, featuring mandala art, home decor items, and accessories made from recycled vinyl records and other repurposed materials. Christine sells her eco-friendly work at "green" boutiques, art walks, craft shows, and online at eyepopart.etsy.com. She is also a blogger and you can read about her adventures at eyepopart.blogspot.com. In addition to teaching classes, making art, raising her two awesome kids, and rocking out with the band, Christine also works as the program coordinator for the nonprofit organization Trillium Artisans, helping to provide small-business support to Portland artisans who create with recycled and reclaimed materials.
Anitra Cameron grew up believing in personal creativity as a condition of being human, rather like the ability to think. Living, in and of itself, is a creative act, so to her there are no people who aren’t creative, though some may not have realized it. Anitra’s art includes: Coffee Pot People; China Blossoms; jewelry, especially using buttons; collaged book marks; miniature cake stands, all from recycled materials. (It fits with an often-heard adage from Anitra’s childhood: “Use it up. Wear it out. Make it do, or do without.” Live with that long enough, and you’ll never want to throw anything away, so best to turn it into art!)