Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The first pile

The first pile

So this is how installation began. I gave myself a couple of days to
experiment with forms. These are works-in-progress. Come see what I
did with 60,000+ which is what I have in the collection so far. The
opening is Wednesday, June 1, 5-8 pm. Wine and green-lipped mussels
provided by Kono New Zealand. Joe Mangrum is
showing his work "Detonation Earth" also. The show is from June 1-5
with gallery hours from 9 am to 5 pm. Hope to see you there!



Last Saturday, while installing for the Project Launch and show at
Red Ink Studios, I opened a box and found this. Mold - green powdery
stuff and its sticky webbing. I tried not to breathe it. I realized
that over half of the collection, about 36,000+ were infected. So I
brought them back to JCCCNC and spend 9 hours on Sunday washing them
again! I believe that the chopsticks had not thoroughly dried before
I put them in the file boxes. Fortunately, I survived the washing and
was able to install the show!

Thursday, May 19, 2005

40,000+ chopsticks so far

I have been trying to dry chopsticks outside but since it has been
raining I dry them inside. Here are some of them on boards. I have another photo of them to the right on the ground extending about 30 or so feet because I don't have enough room on the boards themselves.
We will be halting collection next week so I can get ready for the installation of the collection and works-in-progress June 1-5, 2005at Red Ink Studios, 1035 Market Street between 6th and 7th Streets in San Francisco. We'll resume collection the following week.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Washing takes hours

Washing takes hours

It took me about four hours to collect and wash today. The bin was
very full. Here is a photo of me preparing the chopsticks for the
sanitizer. There were a lot of chopsticks at the end of the day. I
think I need heavier gloves and an apron. I will let you know the end
of the week count on Monday.

Another restaurant, Miyako Restaurant, joined the collection process
today. Thank you!

Monday, May 09, 2005

3000 chopsticks per file box

Here's the box for reference. Multiply by 6 and that is the end of
last week's count. Yep. 18,000.

The collection after one week

The collection after one week

I washed the end of last week today. I couldn't do it over the
weekend as I was stricken with a terrible cold. It took me almost 3
hours. Here is a view of the dish room.

One file box is approximately 3000 chopsticks. We have at least 6
boxes worth after seven days - about 18,000 chopsticks. This exceeds
that amount that I collected in Tokyo (15,000) from 11 restaurants in
12 days. I have a better infrastructure for collecting here at home.

I must confess that although its only been a week, I have been
feeling sort of sick at the amount. It feels gross. It feels crazy.
Its kind of overwhelming.

One restaurant has decided to pull out. They said that the dishwasher
is too busy to separate them out. Okay. I wonder what they will do
when we introduce composting and bottle and can recycling later. I
hope that is not too much trouble.

I have noticed that there seems to be a predominance of bamboo
chopsticks. I think we will try to find the restaurants with the
wooden ones. I have found they are a bit easier to handle

I am hoping to get volunteers to help with the washing. Some of the
restaurants have requested pickups twice a day.


Monday, May 02, 2005

Chopstick Collection Has Begun

Today I picked up used chopsticks from 8 restaurants in Japantown. For the first day, the collection went really well. Everyone knew I was coming by, thanks to Chris and Rich who dropped of buckets this morning. It is going to take longer as more restaurants jump on. And it took a while to wash the chopsticks. If things go well, we will have quite a stack for our demonstration in June. Knock on chopsticks!