Have I mentioned how much I’m loving my dumpster chair? Because I am. It’s the right kind of hug for August, and I need all the good hugs my chairs are willing to share lately.
To dumpster dive, to scan the detritus of human waste for value is an art form, a calling, a societal necessity in a time of climate crisis. The first union was Paris’ sewer workers, where diamond rings surfaced from literal shit.
Trash picking is still a profession, still invisible, still vital & undervalued. And I’m on its fringes, peeking into every dumpster I pass, beelining for interesting piles and taking photos of things I don’t need to post to Craigslist in hopes that they find their next incarnation before landfill or incinerator, or rearranging them to be more visible and appealing to passersby.
Half my apartment is curbfinds, and I’ve recreated in sandy, salty detail the curbs of Hennepin Ave, boxes of broken taillights and snow bristles and trash awaiting washing. This chair, though! A post-dumpster-dive-dive into google showed that others value it too, even before it’s been transformed into something new. It’s a 1968 iron & canvas beauty from Bofinger in France, designed by Moltzer & Barray, modular, but heavy enough that carrying it home a mile or two left my shoulders sore for a few days from the way the weight of the iron pressed in.
I scrubbed it down til the water ran clear, then found another home for my other curbside chair (I’m in a 400 sq feet live/work space, so I’m a one-chair kind of person). And since then I’ve curl-sprawled in it to my heart’s content; it may leave me no less concerned about our climate crisis, but my heart is a bit more content, for sure.