Thursday, September 19, 2013

Plastique Cirque and Plastic Fantastic at 49th & Chancellor Streets with Huey Community School

What do you do to

How is your relationship with 
An instructional piece:

Make a list of everything in your life that is plastic

Label them as either ephemeral disposable products or possessions.

It is with great pleasure

that we present a selection of images

from Plastic Fantastic with 49th & Chancellor and Huey Community School, September 2012 and Plastique Cirque's Event and Exhibition, May 2013 

an exploration of play,circus arts, plastic history, relationship to water, water bottles, feminism, plastic ocean, puppetry, tetrahedrons, art, collaboration, celebration

but first the Project Description of Plastic Fantastic at 49th & Chancellor Streets

Plastic Fantastic is an immersive, nomadic environment for play, built from 6,000 postconsumer plastic water bottles on a 16-foot diameter geodesic dome. The dome serves as a centerpiece for organizing social relations. Inspirations include Fluxus, subRosa, the Yes Men, Creative Time, Yayoi Kusama, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, and El Anatsui. Some of the places that Plastic Fantastic has lived are Salisbury University, Vermont College of Fine Arts, and the Schuylkill Banks next to Fairmount Water Works at Art in the Open 2010.

For the community outreach for the 40th street Artist-in-Residence Program and the thirteenth iteration of Plastic Fantastic, in fall of 2012 we worked with block captain, Ms Coffee of the 4900 block of Chancellor Street, the residents and property owner John Cox to bring Plastic Fantastic as a public art project to a lot at the corner of 49th Street and Chancellor Streets. Recycling buckets for the blocks were donated by University City District  A new batch of water bottles was collected from friends, Planet FitnessBikram Yoga Philadelphia and United by Blue’s collection from Bartram’s Garden clean ups (note the more dirty bottles on the dome). Hector Medina’s Metal Shop contributed their time and skills to guide and make a new dome armature. Huey Community School students and neighborhood youth worked with me to transform the dome into public art. A group of West Philly high school students cut the plastic grid to fit the unusual shapes and add in more bottles to more fully cover the dome. A celebration of the finished dome was had with a party with grilled pineapple tortas by Raw Peas and sounds by Staco.

In mid-October, Plastic Fantastic was relocated to a highly trafficked area, for a two week visit at the Rotunda. After a hiatus post-Sandy, since early Spring 2013 Plastic Fantastic has enjoyed residency in the backyard of the 40th Street AirSpace, which had been previously cleared by the 2011-12 AirSpace residents. During this time, Upholstery developed the site specific theatrical production “Marvin & Mae (in a Sea of Plastic)”, a fantastical tale of loneliness and love told through puppets made entirely of plastic waste, that premiered at Plastique Cirque in May, and runs again tonight (8/9) for AIR Exchange.

Underpinning Plastic Fantastic are concerns about the politics of water, environmental issues, recycling, self-care, and equity. Plastic Fantastic creates possibility for social change through play, collectivity, community development and production. Through this process we improve our relationship with the everyday. Please “Feed the Dome” a positive message.

Now on with the documentation...

Plastic Fantastic at 49th & Chancellor, September 2012

Installing Plastic Fantastic Dome with Kelly Anne (Raw Peas), Andrew and Todd. Visitors take a recycle bin donated by University City District and learn more about the project. Plant donations from Bartram's Garden. 
Sunday, September 23rd, 2012

Huey School 7th & 8th graders visit Tuesday 9/25/12.  
450 bottles onto the dome in 30 minutes.
49th & Chancellor Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Teacher: Chenequa Jones, Kellie Brown, Lee Marcus

Collaborators: Rya McLeod, Lauren Monk, Ameenah Mack, Richard Bernhardt, Nataye Jones, Pay-ten Robinson, Erica Lockett, Dana Scott, Andrea Cain, Dy'anny'a Holmes, Duranah Anderson, Tykira Adams, Doniesha Landon, Chase Mills, Dashaun Mills

Block captain: Ms. Coffee and her dog, Macy

Artist: Diedra Krieger

Plastic Fantastic Youth Ambassadors, Super and Tonaya
49th & Chancellor Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Plastic Fantastic Dome, 16 foot in diameter, water bottles, plastic grid, 3/4" conduit 
49th & Chancellor Streets, Philadelphia, PA

Plastique Cirque, May 10, 2013

"Play", neon sign, diedra krieger, 2013


Upholstery's "Marvin & Mae (in a Sea of Plastic)"

"Meditative Play Tetrahedron" water bottle caps, paper, mixed media, Diedra Krieger, 2013
"Bottles" Woodley White (Outside the Frame Collective), 2013
"Tipplers Planet", mixed media, water bottles, Anna Perricci

"Cartwheeling through Feminist Theory" video performance, damali abrams and Diedra Krieger, 2013

"Aquarium Wonderland", Digital video installation, Sean Stoops, 2013

xo End Notes xo

I kept a playlist of the videos produced from the 40th Street AIR Space Residency which includes videos documenting a view from inside the artist's studio.

We are excited to announce Plastic Fantastic's next adventure will be to Alaska at the Anchorage Museum with the Gyre Exhibition in 2014!!


  1. Installing Plastic Fantastic Dome with Kelly Anne (Raw Peas), Andrew ...

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