The use of recycled materials enables some artists to expand the scale of their work so that it eventually floods the entire gallery. This image is from Currents 98: Tara Donovan (Saint Louis Art Museum), and features more than 600,000 plastic cups. According to the artist:
A transformative moment occurs for me when the material ceases to reference itself and begins to take on a formal structure that relates to the natural or built environment
Donovan’s work raises a difficult issue with the idea of making the common precious. Most of the artists in Craft Unbound resort to found materials as a form of resistance to consumerism. In Donovan’s case, however, the wasteful production is accelerated by artistic excess. This work seems to have nothing else to say other than is sheer spectacle.