CLUTTER BANK Planet B Festival. Partners: PECT, Metal (Peterborough). Planet B was a two-week programme of events, performances, film screenings, workshops, commissioned artworks, and a conference which encouraged discussion and debate on sustainability.
Reports indicate we consume twice as many material goods today as we did 50 years ago and that there are 300,000 items in the average American home. This behaviour has a massive impact on the planet. Clutter Bank set out to count the objects owned by average Peterborough household and to have conversations about our possessions and how they come into our lives. Many of us have to deal with a mass of accumulated objects. But some things have apparent magical qualities and we can’t get rid of them. Collections and consumption can be seen as a way of creating order, to ease insecurity, a quest, or a way of presenting ourselves to the world. We all have a relationship with objects and an understanding of curating, valuing, arranging, systemising, rejecting, articulating and reasoning why certain objects are important to us. It is these very familiar activities which this project attempted re-frame within issues around climate change.
The project programme included workshops at a local primary school, a car boot fair and a quirky shop installation at Queensgate Shopping Centre, joined by Earth Share project by Artist Eric MacLennan. Participants were invited to donate clutter, share their thoughts and stories which were attached to our wall of clutter, and to take a survey which estimated their total number of possessions, known as a ‘Clutter-rating’.
The answer was 152,613 objects (average number of possessions own by Peterborough households. Figures are completely unscientific and added up with a complicated 1970′s calculator which had lots of unknown buttons on it)
Photo credit: Sandra Keating