During June & July of 2016, I isolated trash bag piles, as well as random trash on the streets scattered all around New York, and covered the trash in gold. The golden trash was left on the sites where they were found as ephemeral golden sculptures, which then became trash themselves after being collected by the New York Sanitation Department.
We humans find it almost impossible to grasp time beyond 2 generations before and after our lifetimes. Gold is one of the few materials that not only retains its value and cultural and social significance through time, but that actually gains value overtime. Covering the trash in gold is an attempt to highlight the fact that just like gold, even though we may dispose of trash from our immediate surroundings, most of the trash we ‘get rid of’ will actually end up buried or floating in rivers, lakes and oceans for generations to come, causing irreversible damages and changes to the planet: Most trash will linger around just as long as gold, for generations to come.