Anthropocenic Midden Survey: Mississippi River

Oct. 1
11 a.m.
Art, Festivals

A year ago, artist Sean Connaughty presented a pop-up show in south Minneapolis featuring the fruits of a kind of archaeological excavation that took place in Lake Hiawatha. Connaughty and his friends had gathered trash bag after trash bag of the waste that had ended up in the lake as a result of litter being drained directly into it, without any mitigation. He presented his findings as an “anthropocenic midden survey,” a phrase used to describe studying a collection of ancient refuse to better understand that culture. This fall, Connaughty and members of the student group WAM Collective reimagine the the project, this time using “midden” from the Mississippi River gathered from a series of river clean-up days. The crew researched and classified trash found on the East and West Banks of the Twin Cities campus with a goal of creating awareness about our individual actions and how they affect one of the largest rivers in the United States. The project culminates in a large-scale interactive installation and sculpture using the trash gathered from the river, displayed outside of the museum as part of Open Streets on the University of Minnesota campus.