A few weeks back, I showed the students a slide show that covers the material in this post. I had just recently taken my son Eli to the beach to fly his new kite:
San Gabriel River empties into the ocean, bringing with it 40+ miles worth of urban runoff. The southern jetty marks the boundary of the Seal Beach Naval Weapons Station. After a rain, it's especially nasty, as the trash carried by the river gets stuck between the two jetties and sinks to the bottom of the ocean, is pushed out into the wider sea, or ends up on the beach. Here's an aerial photo, taken from CSULB's geology department:
Save Our Beach. But the wave of trash keeps on coming, relentlessly.
I decided to make something out of it. The previous week, Dan and I had given the students of this class one of our several "spot-collaboration" assignments. In this case, students had to look around the classroom, within a 100-yard radius, and make sculptures out of whatever they could find. They had twenty minutes. The results can be viewed in the small pictures along the right side of this blog. The stuff students came up with was terrific, inspiring really, and it highlighted one of the many joys of teaching this class: The world becomes a little more magical when limitations help us make something of it that's unexpected and witty and true (note the chairs piled up and making their escape through the ceiling; the color wheel attracting, like a multi-chromatic magnet, like-colored objects to itself; the trash-bag jellyfish). Influenced by the students' creativity, I grabbed a bunch of junk off the beach and made this:
VVP: Art 434 & Engl. 410
- ▼ April (11)