thewasteland.work is a living archive, documenting and representing everyday personal household waste and an extension of the project “The First 100 Days”.
It is designed in a way that it can scale from single-person waste data collection to the emergence of positive group dynamics of collecting waste data in a community. The project explores interfaces to a virtual environment supporting multiple users and we encourage and facilitate long-term engagement with the archive. These interfaces include the real-time personal waste data visualization and future waste prediction to support micro-actions and reactions towards environmental concerns; and extend the ways in which users’ waste data are represented for each other.
thewasteland.work designs three mechanisms to raise users’ motivation and support continuity:
(1) easy to input waste data as personal entries whereas paying particular attention to the issues of anonymity,
(2) the visualization of group waste dynamics that can help individuals reflect on and alter their own actions, and
(3) the predicted possibilities that can raise continuous motivation for individuals to document the waste data.
This work started with the artist’s own efforts over 100 days and aims to make it accessible to others. It is not just about involving more people or technology. Instead, it seeks new ways of accounting for differences and similarities on a societal scale as design possibilities for environmental concerns and data visualization.
Dr. Yu Zhang has a background in fine arts and design. Her Ph.D. research investigates the theory and artistic practice of interactive technologies for public, large-scale installations. As a researcher and artist, she approaches visual art with mixed reality installations and projections, sensor-based interactives, and computational arts.
In the past five years, Yu Zhang has participated in different residencies and her work has been exhibited at galleries, museums, and festivals worldwide.
Currently, she lives and works in Eindhoven.