Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Plastic is Forever (Shhh! Don't tell the Art Curators)

"Plastic is Forever" has become a rallying cry for certain environmentalists. The ironic situation is that they have set up an art show made from plastics retrieved at beaches.

I said ironic [*], as that truly is the case. Art and museum curators, people who want to keep plastic in pristine condition, have known for quite some time that plastics are quite prone to oxidation and degradation. Sarah Everts, on her "Artful Science" blog had a recent posting on the matter. Having helped numerous clients with degradation and oxidation issues in their products, I was well aware of the relentless degradation, but I didn't know that cellulose acetate was able to wreak havoc on other materials in its immediate vicinity.

Imagine if this "Plastic is Forever" art show sticks around for 30 years or so: they will be in the uncomfortable position of having to explain why their art is degrading.

[*] An additional irony of sorts: the show is at Bainbridge Performing Arts, abbreviated on their webpage as "BPA".

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