Disney Goes GreenJuly 11, 2008
I was recently commissioned by curator Jon M. Gibson to create a piece for an exhibition at Disney’s Consumer Products headquarters. The only catch was that the piece had to celebrate the “iconography” of Disney while promoting a message of environmental sustainability in both it’s imagery AND medium. Since I couldn’t find a single place to buy soy-based paint (does this even exist? please email me if it does!) I decided to opt for the recycled materials route. Additionally, each artist was tasked with representing a division of consumer products. Appropriately, I was assigned to video games.This pixelized rendering of Cinderella’s Enchanted Castle was created by cutting out several thousand 1/2″ squares from a variety of printed materials that would have otherwise ended up… well, okay so they would have gotten recycled anyway, but… that’s not the point!
Over half of the “pixels” were sliced from paper company promos I picked up at INDEX. Fortunately for my chromatic purposes—due to the current marketability of environmental responsibility—this years crop of promotional materials were greener than a Dr. Seuss treatise on breakfast foods. The irony here is that these companies print so many of these books, brochures, cards, calendars, etc etc etc that it seems a bit hypocritical in my opinion. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy swatch books as much as the next designerd, but when you’re handing out bags of promotional materials that outweigh the Encyclopedia Britannica (I am not joking, exaggerating, or even remotely bending the truth here), you know you’re guilty of greenwashing. Not naming names here… you know who you are.
Okay, rant over. Back to the piece… so it’s made up of several thousand squares, most of which were cut from aforementioned paper promotions and also from back issues of Nintendo Power. What was cool about this was that when you look at the piece up close there’s this disjointed narrative about video games and the environment at the macro level and then from far away it’s a much simpler story about Disney’s desire to raise environmental awareness within its corporate culture. These are four inch details of the four foot piece:
And here are some pics of the piece in progress:
If I can get some photos from the opening, which I was unable to attend, I will post them here.