“There is no room for waste, as a concept or a place.”
There has always been new land and neighbors to conquer, and endless sea and sky to absorb our pollution. All of this is changing in our lifetimes. We desperately need new stories to guide us towards a sustainable future. Art, music, film, and personal narratives can show us the way.
The JUNKraft shows us that story. And Ben Lear's Rock Opera Lillian provides the soundtrack.
We plan to bring these stories to new audiences around the world, engaging tens of thousands of people in understanding the problem of plastic pollution, and getting involved in solutions, by bringing the JUNKraft to the Playa at Burning Man. Atop JUNKraft, singer/songwriter Ben Lear will perform his rock opera Lillian, sharing the story of plastic marine pollution through a haunting, lyrical narrative featuring a young man's discovery of loss and love amidst the "Great Pacific Garbage Patch".
Here, we will shoot a short film for viral distribution, capturing people's reaction to the problem, their reflections on how to effect meaningful change, and our broader perspective on fostering a new ethic in the 21st century - that this concept of waste today is simply immoral.
ABOUT JUNKRAFT: JUNKraft is a boat built from 15,000 plastic bottles that sailed across the Pacific Ocean in 2008 to bring attention to the issue of plastic marine pollution. The journey of JUNK took 3 months, with 2 men on board drifting 2600 miles from California to Hawaii, narrowly missing 3 hurricanes and risking life and limb to tell this story:
The world's oceans are covered with plastic trash, harming marine wildlife, and potentially impacting our own health.
ABOUT 5 GYRES: Since the voyage of JUNKraft in 2008, we created The 5 Gyres Institute to research and bring awareness to the state of plastic in world's seas. In April 2011, 5 Gyres completed the first global study of plastic in the world's oceans, concluding once and for all that plastic pollution is a global problem, impacting marine ecosystems and coastal communities around the world.
Disposable plastic waste, a byproduct of our ignorance and overconsumption, flows from land to sea through rivers and storm drains, getting stuck in massive, oceanic current systems called "gyres". Plastic accumulates in the gyres, breaking down into smaller and smaller fragments that are eaten by marine organisms. How might this affect human health?
WHAT WE WANT TO DO: We have a story to tell of a better future, and want to begin by bringing this message to Black Rock City, through a resurrection of the JUNK Raft on the playa, and a live performance of Lillian.
We will rebuild JUNKraft alongside our education exhibit, a museum quality kiosk on plastic pollution built from waste salvaged from Hurricane Katrina.
Standing atop the JUNKraft, Ben Lear and his band will perform Lillian, inspiring listeners to contemplate the metaphor of plastic waste through music and poetry. And stationed at the JUNKraft, sailors and scientists from 5 Gyres will interact with visitors, answering questions, telling stories, and sharing ocean samples collected from all 5 Gyres.
We will combine these mediums - art, music, and science through film, shooting a short piece on the experience.
WHY WE NEED KICKSTARTER FUNDS: We are requesting your support to transport JUNKraft, our education exhibit, and the musicians behind Lillian to the Playa, and to produce the short film. To transport the raft, we will rent a small trailer, and hire a team of strapping burners to help us load, setup, breakdown, and reload the raft. The band entails 3 musicians, who will provide their own AV equipment as a contribution to the project. We plan to fuel our van and support vehicle with Biodiesel to the extent possible, to lighten our travel footprint. And we will hire a top notch, creative editor/director to oversee the film component, which will be shared widely, and will continue to engage and inspire long after the lifespan of this project.
In our new world, there is simply no room for waste, as a concept or a place.
- (45 days)