Juror Statement by Philip Ross
This show invites the viewer to engage in a conversation about the definition of the term "compostable". In compost we can witness materials that originate from organic growth as they whither and return to more elemental forms. Other, more intricately processed artifacts seem to persist against the course of time and challenge our notion of this term/ Yet, in the long view, the earth swallows it all; metals, plastics, and everything else will be reprocessed within the energetic churning of the planet.
Archaeologists dig in the ground to retrace the history of composted cultures. In the practice of Eschatology, religious philosophers sift through hidden acts and thoughts to understand divine composition and reintegration. It is my feeling that composting is as much a view of time, material, and circulation as it is a strictly defined act, and that in valorizing compost we admire process, origin, and the inevitability of return.
The world is protean and constantly reorganizing itself. The recognition of this fact has become one of the central dogmas of evolutionary theory, even as it challenges our ideas of material consistency and our understanding of the provisional qualities of form. Everything we hold to be meaningful and dear ultimately enters into this world of digestion and transformation, no matter how intensely we cling as individuals or civilizations.
In choosing the works to be included in this show, I was compelled by instinct rather than a specific point of view or agenda. As a juror, I was attracted to works that tended to fall within two categories: those that are like skin and those pointing toward memory and diminutive acts. I am drawn to the skin as an organ of constant regeneration, which we use to judge the passage of time, and to advertise currents and signals that are physic as much as organic. Conversely, written within the diminutive are often the most symbolic and precious human intentions -the disappearance of a material order and the intimated enormity of a world beyond that which is apparent. By organization, 100% Compostable according to these distinct yet complementary principles, I hope to have created a show that reflects a fuller explanation of both material and conceptual compostability.