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Rethinking the Ethics, Politics, and Economics of Trash in Nature and Culture

Field trip/performance in Altyn Kazyk

This trip draws on the cross-pollination of scientific knowledge and artistic approaches. The artist will tell tour attendees about trash and pollution while drifting between literal and abstract interpretations of these concepts. She will discuss various contradictory laws from the natural world that relate to different ideas about garbage: garbage as something that is inconvenient, harmful, temporary, a mistake, or inefficient. Also, based on their response to encounters with art objects, participants will be invited to reflect on their own position regarding pollution. As we walk, we will explore what we can learn from nature, art, and each other.


Lera Lerner is an artist, curator, and educator and the founder of the Imaginary Museum of Displaced Persons. Her socio-poetic art practice is based on mutual learning and inclusivity. Working with different communities, Lerner creates magical and safe spaces for sharing and support. Her projects explore everyday rituals of care and pleasure. She looks for ways to blurring or accept the boundaries of otherness through her performative practices of embodied empathy. Lerner trusts in chance, wonder, intuition, and love. She makes room for spontaneous communication in public space through performance, art education, installations, and research.

Photos by Ermek Jaenisch
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