View Quadangles Print Version →


 

Read Class Notes Online →

 

Browse CLASSPICS

 

 

Past Issues →

 

 

 

subscribeOnline picture

 

 

Advertise with Us →

 

 

Bookmark and Share

 

 

subscribeOnline picture RSS feed

 

Bagging the Plastic

Everyone needs groceries, but what do Americans do with the estimated 100 billion plastic carrier bags they use annually? Plastic bags, especially high-density polyethylene ones, can remain on our planet for up to 1,000 years.

Although a growing number of environmentally-conscious consumers now carry their groceries in reusable cloth bags, Armine Tahmassian ’10, found a different way to recycle plastic bags to make an environmental point.

With advice from Lilla Samson, a painting and printmaking instructor in the Department of Art and Art History, the 21-year-old chose to look at the environment through art for her senior honors project. She was motivated by Natural Resource Science Professor Tom Husband’s environmental ethics class and by the 2008 Honors Colloquium on global climate change.

Tahmassian cut the bags into strips, twisted the strips with her father’s drill, rolled the twisted strips into a yarn-like ball, and began to knit. Her artwork begins with tight stitches, gradually opens to looser and looser stitches creating larger holes, and eventually unwinds so completely that it returns to plastic bags. The completed piece hung with three others works with accompanying text in Lippitt Hall this spring. Tahmassian called the plastic bag art Entropy.

“Entropy measures how disorganized/organized a system is,” she explained. “As stated in the second law of thermodynamics, entropy (or disorder) will increase over time in an isolated system.  Therefore this piece portrays that principle.  In other words, we, as humans, are increasing the amount of disorder on the Earth, which follows with this law; the conflict is that we are increasing this disorder at an escalating rate.”  

Plastic bags were also incorporated in two of her three other 3-foot by 4-foot art pieces entitled “Land, Air, and Water,” all composed mainly of recycled materials such as bottle caps, dryer lint, red netting from fruit and vegetable bags, and styrofoam. They called attention to climate change, deforestation, and water pollution.

Comments are open, but there are no comments.

Leave a Comment

Most comments will be posted within 24 hours of submission.

Spam protection by WP Captcha-Free

Web Extras

SENIOR Prom

Poets and Writers

The President’s View

The President’s View

Features

The World Is His Oyster

Energy Fellows: Bright Ideas for Saving Energy in Rhode Island

Gulf Oil Spill Puts URI Experts In the Hot Seat

URI Helps Set Standards for Off-Shore Wind Farms

A Different Way of Growing Things

Farming in Rhode Island: A Growth Industry

News & Views

Watching After Our Watersheds

Did You Know That …

Green Biotech Building Earns the Gold

Bagging the Plastic

Investing in $aving Energy

Our Man In Abu Dhabi

Press Box

Athletics Department Honors Four Seniors

Woodley Named A-10 Top Track & Field Rookie Performer

Women’s Rowing Captures Atlantic 10 Championship

Football Team Holds Bone Marrow Drive

Class Acts Profiles

Victor Bell ’73, M.M.A. ’77

Heather ’72 and Don Minto ’73

Richard Piacentini ’77

Ken Ayars ’83, M.S. ’85

Gil ’80 and Sandie Barden ’91

Kate Venturini ’06

Back Page

URI Runs in the Durfee Family Bloodline

Alumni Chapters →

Wrapups

2010 Commencement

50th Reunion

Golden Grad Weekend

Upcoming Events

Big Thinkers

Distinguished Achievement Awards

Homecoming 2010




QuadAngles © 2014 URI Alumni Association. All rights reserved. Produced by the Office of Publications and Creative Services for the URI Alumni Association, Alumni Center, 73 Upper College Rd., Kingston, RI 02881. Phone: 401-874-2242 | Contact Quadangles