Sunday, February 08, 2009
TERTIUM NON DATA
Waste material may not be as valuable as “gold and silver” but it reflects the social “values” better.
Architect William McDonough states in his manifest titled ‘Cradle to Cradle” that a cycle of use “from the cradle to the cradle” is possible by producing products that are circulated for ever being recycled and used at all times instead of the ones that fill the earth as waste materials in the end of their life cycles. Gülnur Özdağlar Güvenç’s work based on regenerating plastic/PET bottles is an amazing and adorable proof of this presupposition.
The recycling done with the plastic materials in today’s world is in fact a down-cycling since a recycled material is almost always of low quality when compared to its original form. That is why this act of recyling is doomed to end in a waste that is not possible to be used again. Unlike the glass, paper and metalic materials, the only way to escape the down-cyclying process for the plastics that are recyled in a down/low form to be used again is to be reincarnated with the upload of the values of a new world. That is to add a new value to the material that will exceed the value that it has lost... Thanks to this addition, it is possible to mention up-cycling instead of down-cycling. This additional value can magically be a chemical as well as an ambigious alchemic contribution.
“Tertium Non Data” is the name Gülnur gives to her blog where she exhibits the PET bottles that she has transformed into objects of art (*). The name means "There is no third data”… It is a phrase coined by the alchemists in Latin. It may be explained as such: The transformation from an element into the other, for instance, from tin into pure gold is a mysterious process. One can never know the third data that makes the transformation possible.
The knowledge of transforming a household waste into a beautiful and useful object is in this sense is a ‘3rd data’... We may also call it “art” or “human touch” no matter how unknowable it is thought to be. We can talk about the concept of “the hand-made” as the counter-value celebrated by the industrialisation.
The 2nd life that has come into being with the new “value” spiritually attributed when Gülnur’s hand touches the PET bottle, a type of waste that is serially produced and impossible to recycle without a loss, is now much longer and more recognised indeed: elegant ladies wearing PET jewelry, linen covers ornamented with PET shells, the dining tables decorated with PET bowls sitting next to fine china, PET chandeliers taking the place of crystal chandeliers…
Gülnur collects the waste PET bottles and reshapes them by cutting, melting, drilling to make jewellery, accessories and objects for household use. She sees this as her personal answer to the problematic of recycling.