Artica 2021

Special Digital issue

Artica 2021 Brave New Harmony

10.9.21 and 10.10.21
1322 Lewis Street, St. Louis, MO 63102


Dumpster Archeology presents 

A Trash Pop-up Museum

This unique Multi-Dimensional Artistic Experience is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the famous Dumpster Discovered Art of Randy TitusEdward Menges and Edna Seib one last time before the Pop-up Art Collection disappears into the homes of the general public on Sunday evening at 2:23 for the “Yard Sale” event*. 

*(at 2:23 on Sunday the 10th, the display will be dismantled and all the Art is handed out for Free.)

This Pop-Up Museum is an open air, visual treat for the senses, and a mental playground full of Digital Rabbit holes. The double sided display contains many links (QR codes) and stories that disappear into this website and the public record. All the Art, Graphic designs , Magazine covers, and Bio-mythographeology items on display were once owned by Dumpster Archeology Characters and almost lost to the Trash Oblivion.

the Art work.

These Story Telling experiences are honorary and reflective of our Human species as a whole, through these unique souls, we see the journey of a typical American mother, student, artist, dreamer, anthropologist, architect, psychic and so many more. Everything discovered and used by the project was found in Dumpsters and traced through Online Sources and filtered through poetic prose for the Beating Heart of the Story.

Scan any QR Code at the event to be transported into strange rabbit holes of human experience.

The Beating Heart essay:

There is a certain feeling at the Heart of Dumpster Archeology.   A feeling you get when you watch a documentary and it reshapes your reality.  A feeling you get when you flip through a National Geographic magazine and see the wonders of the world with awe. The feeling you get when your Grandpa tells you a great story from when he was young. 

That feeling is the Beating Heart.  It’s a willingness to trust another person’s words and sense of reality, trust them enough to experience the world through their eyes. It’s the act of listening and receiving. All history begins with attention, a large slice of conjecture and an emotional resonance.

All the art was given away!!

Any attentive Historian will tell you that a big part of our collective human story, is the mythology and legacy of our ancestors.  It’s the story of what got us here, to this point in history. I explore these spaces with Dumpster Archeology. 

As we examine the Collections for inspiration, hope, wisdom and discover the roads our bloodlines paved the way for us.  Our ancestors still speak to us, in letters, tales and audio recordings.    

What is a ghost after all?  If you forget the Hollywood version of ghosts for a second, and return to the mythology of our true ancient history. Perhaps the ghosts have always been there?

Our ancestors are still with us, like phantoms or bits of consciousness still living in our thoughts.  They are in our dreams, memory and linger in the objects we still hang on too.  I don’t know anything about the Super and the Natural, but my ancestors left a lot for me to digest as I explored my ancestry a decade ago, and that process of historical digging, I now use for the dumpster dived souls of the project.

It’s the year 2021 and we are at the tail end of pandemic, and a reckoning as currently the history of our era is disappearing into landfills so large, it’s practically endless. That layer of trash that holds our history is filled with the radiation, toxic gases and honestly, who would ever find that appealing to examine? Once the history is gone, it is gone, it has entered the Trash Oblivion where context and meaning disappears.

Dumpsters are the last haven before an Artifact becomes just Trash. Sometimes when a living person dies and no one wants their art, family photos, knick knacks, paddy wacks and heirlooms of the previous generation, it lays in a dumpster waiting for the end. A Death Purge is the act of indiscriminately tossing of a recently deceased’s treasured possessions into a Dumpster. I call that a loss as these true historical figures still have important things to say. The act of saving precious Artifacts, thoughtfully absorbing the essence and discovering it’s story, that’s the Art!

The Dumpster is the last refuge before an object loses all meaning and context.

At the very beginning of the Project was a simple dumpster dive in front of an old haunted mansion, a place filled with ghosts, psychics, bones, history and the Seib family which went back 100 years in the Lafayette Square neighborhood. Ghosts are common in Lafayette Square, everyone has seen at least one, or has a different strange tale of oddness. 

The local story people whisper about 2323 Lafayette Avenue, was that a psychic used to have seances on the 3rd floor of that strange mansion behind the McLaughlin Funeral Parlor.  Turns out it’s true, the historical record is there in the digital spaces and verified with personal effects, proving that some stories have a “realness” to them.  A Psychic as defined and ordained by a Church operated for 30 plus years and her ghosts are still walking the space she once called home.

That’s the basic story at least, one I have told many times in various formats. Carrie Seib, the Spiritualist was the beating heart of Dumpster Archeology in its early days. As the project evolved with more Souls pulled out of the dumpsters looking for their renewed Legacy, her Spirit was still floating around talking to us, much like the ghosts she talked to for decades.

Ghosts you say…..well I don’t believe in Ghosts. That’s ok, you don’t need to believe, this isn’t Hollywood and no one is selling you anything.  It’s just a story. 

My story is….I never had a grand plan, the whole project flowed from energy to energy, each output of creative artistic effort was a loving drive to convey a sense of emotional connection with a Dumpster Soul. What began with Carrie Seib and the first event at Strange Folk Festival, grew into a full blown effort to tell many stories. Dumpster Archeology is kinda ghost-led.

Remembrance, legacy and the secret desires of Spirits became the Beating Heart of the Project, repeating over and over the same strange process in many different ways. An effort to tell an honest story. The Project began with ghosts and we still walk that strange line within the veins of each multi-dimensional rabbit hole, where the public attempts to connect to the still pumping blood of our Collective memory.

The ghosts leave their own unique imprint across the Project, as honoring the dead, means listening their personalities, their words and their strange needs, then relaying their Story for anyone willing to listen, to connect to something profound from the past..

Somehow the ghosts never stop talking

bonus story…

Dr Jensen and the end of a Golden Age

…….This last Story is a strange new one….. growing from an Artica seed.

Dr Joshua Jensen is a medical Doctor like his father before him. I often get confused about which is which, because I found Dr Jay Jensen and Dr Joshua Jensen in the same Dumpster. It didn’t take long for a series of wonderful slides to become “the story.” as it was the elder of the two that went to Communist China in 1986 with his wife Ruth and brother Bill. That story has been told. It is a story about Mother Jensen, Baptist Missionaries and her Sons that returning to the land of their birth to honor her legacy. Great Stuff and only a sliver of the Dr Jensen Collection found in a dumpster. Today I wonder about this….?

The Illustrated Artwork in the dumpster has a great sense of humor. Dr Jay was the Doctor with the jokes. His medical humor, his notion of being, the inner joke he tells himself and others, somehow Dr Jay got it all drawn out in this strange collection. What was the story, who did them?

“End of a Golden age” begins with a simple design of these words with embellishments. Through the illustrations created and designed… Dr Jay, we see his graduation, his battles with poverty, politics, fame,and Uncle Sam himself. Small jokes write themselves, like Nurses confused by his writing, or being tied up by “red tape”. The art work is clever like a Mad Magazine and autobiographical like a comedian on stage. Dr Jay is making us laugh, even as he breaks down a long career of turmoil and success.

Owning artwork without context is a common theme with the project. It isn’t a full story with missing panels numbered out of order. We really have little information of it’s purpose, so perhaps, this next action will stir the Spirits. For Artica, two pieces are available for viewing and on Sunday the 10th are going home with two lucky people. They may ask, who drew this? Who is the Artist? The answer is not clear but what is clear, is Dr Jay Jensen is a funny man and the story is just beginning.

Update: At the festival two of the Illustrations when home with the public and one local Illustrator filled me in both in person and in email. This is the story of Steve Sheldo who created the art work for Dr Jay

Stephen B. Sheldon Illustrator, combat cartoonist during Korean War.

Article from: St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) November 11, 2005 

Stephen B. Sheldon, a longtime illustrator, died Oct. 28, 2005, of pancreatic cancer at his residence in St. Louis. He was 73.

Mr. Sheldon was born in St. Louis. He served with the Marines during the Korean War, during which time he was awarded the title of combat cartoonist. Later, Mr. Sheldon procured funds to purchase the granite base of the statue portraying Marines raising the American flag on Iwo Jima in World War II.

After his military service, Mr. Sheldon earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from Washington University in 1954. Mr. Sheldon became a freelance cartoonist, writer, animator and producer in the St. Louis art world.