From Medium.com -winter of 2019
I am the world’s first Dumpster Archeologist, in a linguistic sense of course as the field contains many monikers and techniques. My skill set as a dumpster diver is unique and that is the cusp of the tale. This is a story about examining the tip of a cultural reckoning, one that seems to be upon us and a collective effort to look inward, towards the waste we leave behind…to see what legacy our Humanity has left.
The story begins out of shocking circumstances, when the Twin towers of America fell and the Airline industry suffered a shift towards a fear personality. Poverty struck a blow to my existing and as an Airline employee, it was my necessity of needs that prompted a shift in lifestyle choices.
One day I had a career and opportunity, on the next, I had a job that didn’t cover the bills. Months after that September day, I lived on meager wages and I turned to Dumpsters for basic necessities. Discovering everything I needed could be found or exchanged for, I ate and thrived from the offerings of dumpsters with the help of underground punks who forged the territory before me.
These Anarchists whom I got to know, lived a strange life, and I discovered a whole scene connected to activism, eco-protective agency, protesting and homeless advocacy. These punks and community based social shifters understood one fundamental aspect of reality, we lived in a society that wasn’t stacking the deck fairly. The American Dream had issues and these Dumpster Divers were on the front lines with those tireless progressives attempting to solve the world’s problems with true life solutions.
I learned to dumpster dive and do it well, leaving Tampa, travelling the country and always with the minimal of possessions. Which adds up to a lot of free schwag over the years in my new urban areas. I aged and built a career in the airline biz as a Union member and Organizer. My lifestyle improved and with the added bonus of dumpster diving skills, I mastered the art of living for free as much as I could.
Like my heroes, those Beatnik wanderers, Occultist writers, Psychedelic authors and scientists, I searched for meaning and the gentle Beat of existing. Art became my medium of communication. Poetry was my soul, Literature was my brain and dumpster diving was my heart.
I am 42 years old and I spent half of that a dumpster diver. I wouldn’t know where to place a measuring stick on dumpster mastery, as the Masters are often transitory, but I am skilled and that is a fact I can reflect quite easily. I built 4 websites to express what I have uncovered. Sadly the internet is not as permanent as we had hoped during it’s utopianistic beginnings and 3 have disappeared, nevertheless it is the medium I was raised up in, so my artistic offerings tend to be …. pure of heart.
Why Dumpster Archeology?
Something shifted for me, when I added to our lexicon and the Collective list of “things”. The “Death Purge” was a unique idea. I suppose when the Ancient soldiers deposed of an entire civilization, wiping all the language and history in one fail swoop, one could call it a death purge. When a house empties out and leaves the possessions of a forgotten family, then it is a death purge. The story has to be told if you are the last of your kind, family or species. Legacy is something that matters even if all trace of human will one day be erased.
All those dumpster diving moments, when the things you see paint a picture and even sometimes a story. When the names and objects reflect a unique person and one knows their story is being lost. The dumpster is the last refuge of all our great true stories. Once they disappear into Trash Oblivion, it is lost. It is my duty to tell these remarkable stories.
The story of our existence disappears quickly and with a great volume. Will a future anthropologist dig through the millions of tons of waste we dispose of every day? What would be left and could you make sense of it?
Those super computers of the future will have all the universe of information and most of the data is completely untrue or as dry as a set of numbers. We have Babylonian cuneiform tablets full of bank deposits. Our old campfire stories are disappearing faster than carbon spins on molecular levels.
Dumpster Archeology was born from a need, to find a simple platform for the stories I discover. True stories, sad stories, inspiring stories and trash stories.
Arnold Toynbee the genius Philosopher of History once said that a great historian must also be a great artist and storyteller. I am not a Journalist, for I don’t care about the “truth” and whatever subjective form it takes. I am not a blogger, my opinion is unimportant. History is wonderful but lacks the artistry of the multi layered poetry that I enjoy to write.
Dumpster Archeology is a “grey area”, where nothing existed before but a notion of remembrance. An idea that takes form slowly and like all great ideas, it can not be owned.
Dumpster Archeology is an experience on collective levels. Each story leads to digital imprints and personal stories told by the living. Often an object tells it’s own story and no words are needed. The public events are designed to connect people to legacy and the storytelling experience that we all share.
I am the first Dumpster Archeologist, telling tales about psychics, artists, housewives, doctors and humanity at large. Using the Mediums at my disposal, like photography, graphic arts, videography, poetry, literary styles, public art installations and dumpster diving. My favorite lines, I always use about my work…
It’s not only stranger than you suppose, it’s stranger than you CAN suppose…….and it’s True enough.