A new series of work titled “Directory Assistance,” which examines an antiquated corporate practice that harms the environment, will be exhibited with Satellite66 Gallery at the ArtPadSF art fair, from May 17th to May 20th in San Francisco, CA.
After a recent city-wide blanketing of new telephone directories from AT&T, I collected over 100 unclaimed books from my neighborhood for a response to their production. In the internet age, when information is readily available at the query of a search engine, the continued mass-distribution of these antiquated objects is absurd. As corporations continue to produce such products, an addiction to squeezing profits by any means possible, environmental harm persists. The absurdity not only lies in the fact that AT&T, a major seller of thoroughfare to the internet, prominently advertises its own search engine of the front cover of each book, but also promotes their composition of mostly-recycled paper to justify their continued production. Although local governments may do their best to collect old and unclaimed books for recycling, and AT&T itself promotes recycling in an effort to “green” their image, the EPA estimates that only 34% of actual recyclable material is collected in the United States, tons of remaining waste heading for landfills or polluting local environments. Especially in the epicenter of tech, San Francisco and the Silicon Valley, this persistent annual tradition is just another corporate farce that selfishly benefits shareholders as it recklessly litters communities.