‘Thames Memory & the Exploration of Future Dust’, latest project of Maria José Arceo in collaboration with King’s College of London

by Brit Es Magazine
Maria Arceo

‘Thames Memory & the Exploration of Future Dust’ is a multi-disciplinary project that aims to creatively challenge and inform our understanding of the widespread dispersion of plastic debris on both fluvial and marine environments.

Plastic pollution is fast becoming the most ubiquitous environmental and archaeological ‘signature’ of the Anthropocene, but it has yet to be recognised in the wider public realm. With a focus on London’s river Thames, this initiative brings together a wide network of cross-disciplinary partnerships in order to jointly educate, engage, quantify, visualise and advocate for a cleaner Thames.


María Arceo showing us a can found in the Thames. Photo © Noela Roibás

Between September 2016 and September 2017, the artist Maria Arceo will conduct a whole river clean-up operation across all accessible foreshore beaches of the tidal Thames, assisted by a comprehensive research team from King’s College London Departments of Geography, Chemistry, Informatics and members from Thames21.

Throughout the project, King’s college students and members of the public will be invited to take part at a wide programme of clean-ups, public talks, lectures, events, and interactive workshops that will explore the histories, geographies, material properties and sustainable management solutions of plastics across various environments.

It will culminate in Autumn 2017, with a large interactive workshop installation led by KCL students and artist Maria Arceo that will display KCL research findings and expose the real magnitude – both scientifically and visually – of the tide of plastic litter that runs off from London streets to the Thames, and ultimately to the ocean.

After the construction of a large art installation, the artist invites design and science students to collaborate in the creation of a permanent commemorative object made from all the recycled plastic that will stand as both; a lasting reminder of the origin and true scale of the problem, and as a symbol of London’s determination to lead the way towards a more sustainable future.

Maria Jose Arceo is a Spanish artist based permanently in London, who uses installation, sculpture, photography and film to explore close interactions between the human manipulation of the natural world and Nature’s response to these interferences.

Photos © Noela Roibás / Instagram: @noelaroibas


‘Thames Memory & the Exploration of Future Dust’
London October 2016. Dates to be confirm (TBC).
Maria Arceo’s Website: www.mariajosearceo.com

Main partners:  King’s College London, Thames 21, Port of London Authorities, Totally Thames Festival, Tideway, Hubbub, Thames Estuary Partnership, Thames Litter Forum and eXXpedition RoundBritain 2017 Environmental Agency.

@mjarceo  @KingsCollegeLon @Thames21 @TidewayLondon @ThamesEstPart @hubbubUK @thameslitter @eXXpedition


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