Infecting the City 2012
Slices of Life

The statistics are shocking: residents, visitors and businesses in Cape Town generate almost 2kg of rubbish per person a day.

That amounts to several millions of tonnes of garbage daily. And most of this ends up in the City’s three landfill sites. You may not know it, but once in the landfill, rubbish takes an amazing length of time to decompose – aluminium cans take about 200 years, plastic over 1 000 years, and glass and styrofoam over 1 000 000 years! And while this is happening, toxic chemicals are released that pollute our air, water and earth.

Much of this garbage is recyclable – and if we recycle it, we not only substantially reduce the amount of waste in the landfills, but also save energy, water and money.

During the 2011 Festival, the Festival Hub changed each day as a team of artists dealt with these critical issues. With the help of one of Cape Town’s main recycling projects, Wasteplan, one weeks’ garbage from 200 Cape households was gathered, cleaned and sorted into different types of recyclable material: glass, plastic, paper and packaging, and tin cans.

The garbage had been collected from 40 houses in five different income areas: Camps Bay/Clifton, Pinelands, Khayelitsha, Mitchells Plain and the Central Business District (CBD).

On the first day of Infecting The City, 20 piles of ‘Slices of Life’ were displayed on the Festival Hub and gave an intriguing insight into our lifestyles. Passers by and Festival-goers alike wandered around studying and comparing what various communities consume, and how much valuable matter they throw out. Then, throughout the Festival week, eight artists committed to making us aware of this destructive behaviour, transformed the material into artworks. People watched their progress every day as they built their monuments of Wasted Treasure.

The Artists

Brendhan Dickerson

Brendhan Dickerson

Born in Johannesburg, Dickerson studied at UCT's Michaelis School of Fine Art, completing a Masters Degree in 1996. Dickerson's work often articulates wry social commentary or political satire. He draws material from the media and other popular culture, combining or distorting images in unexpected, startling ways. He takes delight in kinetic and interactive sculpture; making works which invite some kind of physical interaction from the viewer. read more...

Hannelie Coetzee

Hannelie Coetzee

Hannelie Coetzee is a Johannesburg-based visual artist and professional photographer, who combines land art, social documentary photography and collaborative art projects (with Such Initiative) as she fuels the one and feeds the other. Photographing social development projects keeps her close to the pulse of South Africa, as it inspires her to create her land art/sculpture but also return to the communities to invest in them through Such Initiat read more...

Heath Nash

Heath Nash

As a designer and artist, Heath has always been particularly inspired by whichever material given to him on a project. In art school, at University of Cape Town, he was confronted with an array of new materials such as oil paint, mould making, bronze casting, welding, forgery, etc. This lifetime of play and being forced to try new things has been really useful in helping him to think around different possibilities for current work. All the work read more...

Igshaan Adams

Igshaan Adams

Raised on the Cape Flats, visual artist Irgshaan graduated from the Ruth Prowse School of Art. Igshaan sees his role in the creative process as an archeologist trying to put together a narrative of what possibly happened by digging through linen cupboards and backyard trash. By looking for clues and discarded treasures, he gets to dig into his own psychological trash. At the core of his artistic practice is his attempt at understanding how his p read more...

James Clayton

James Clayton

James Clayton is a self taught artist with no formal training. Born in 1963 in England, receiving a BSc from Imperial College London in 1985, he is now an artist, a risk consultant and an art teacher. Clayton resides in Noordhoek, South Africa, who has worked as a mining engineer, a derivatives trader, software designer, bank executive, martial arts teacher and software sales executive. James Clayton says “I work in the space where industrial read more...

Nomthunzi Mashalaba

Nomthunzi Mashalaba

Nomthunzi is trained in visual arts, but her work is often interdisciplinary, including performance, video work, painting, printing and sculpture. Her interest is in creating works that present themselves as intricate networks of ideas, formulating everyday experience into chronicles personal or otherwise. The objective is to try and employ technical and formal structures best serve each particular idea. Nomthunizi currently works in Cape Town, S read more...

Simon Max Bannister

Simon Max Bannister

Simon Max Bannister has always hunted plastic, along with his spear and net he has walked the rugged beautiful coastlines of Southern Africa, in search of these dangerous carriers of toxic compounds. Collecting these banished aimless shards of humanity's ambivalent progress, his quest to understand more about this mysterious material goes on. Born from a concern of the overwhelming amounts of litter drifting in the rivers and gyres of the ocean read more...

Usha Seejarim

Usha Seejarim

Usha Seejarim is an artist who lives and works in Johannesburg. Usha is a South African of Indian heritage and was born in 1974 in Bethal, a small town in Mpumalanga. Usha works in various media, photographic and video, and makes assemblages of found objects. In her work, Usha reflects her immediate surroundings and finds inspiration in the routines of everyday life. She uses the journey as a metaphor for life and the metropolis as a metaphor for read more...