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Alexa Can’t Let Anything Go

Alexa Gordon

For most of my life, I lived less than two miles from one of Pennsylvania's largest landfills. It's mountainous unnatural form grew up with me, accumulating and expanding, plowing down forests and paving it's way over roads that once led to my childhood home. The landfill destroyed property values, polluted ground water, and tainted the fresh rural air. This proximity to trash and the direct consequences of waste culture shaped my patterns of consumption and attachments to material goods.

“Alexa Can't Let Anything Go” is a repentance for my own implicit participation in overconsumption, explored through cataloguing my own textile waste in a tediously quilted wall hanging. Individual quilt squares were excavated from personal items that lost their practical value over time, each beyond the point of resale or donation, and often made of fiber blends nearly impossible to recycle. Quilting the small, viable scraps establishes new value for these otherwise landfill-bound items. Information about each of the 2,000+ quilted squares is meticulously logged in the adjacent rolodex. Written details for each swatch card range from informational to sentimental and haunting, cumulatively outlining the complex value systems and attachment patterns that define what we abandon or throw away.

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