A cloudy night at the airplane junkyard: part two


"Junk is the most pervasive product of technological society. There is little or no junk visible in backward countries, for everything is cannibalized, cleaned, reused, sold. One might say, with a reasonable probability of being right, that come war or peace, affluence or depression, junk is our ultimate landscape."

"Many artists have been fascinated by junk and by the inexhaustible richness of forms it assumes. Artists have been painting landscapes for centuries, and if ours fills up with junk, junk is what they paint. Artists always know where the action is."

"If you have never gone through a large junkyard, it is a strange out-of-the-world experience. There is poignancy in these transformed relics of technology. They have a startling power to evoke images of human use and ephemeral dreams of affluence. It may well be that artists turn to junk as a raw material from time to time because this is the only moment in modern life when a consumer product relates directly, intimately and deeply to the human condition."

All quotes are from designer George Nelson's book How To See: A Guide to Reading Our Man-Made Environment.