Robi Smith’s crowd-sourced project

Over the weekend, our curator Melissa Rombout lent a hand to the Underwater Pitch- In hosted by Sustainable Kingston at Breakwater Park in Kingston (ON). Melissa selected three items from the loads of trash recovered by volunteer divers: a child’s plastic swim goggles, a synthetic jersey and a rusting computer! Thanks to organizer Geoff Hendry to letting sift through the debris field! 

These items were not only removed as unwanted pollution at the junction where the great St. Lawrence River meets Lake Ontario, they will find new purpose under the direction of British Columbia  artist Robi Smith.  Her work-in-progress Inland: An Unnatural History invites mail-in crowd-sourced “found object” contributions across the duration of the Ocean Festival,  encouraging Canadians  to explore the waterways in their local community and look closely for a small object that, if not collected, could end up travelling all the way to the ocean.

Have a “specimen” for Robi? “Finds” could include found debris such as single-use plastics, food and drink packaging materials, fishing line, clothing, fashion accessories, footwear, disposable masks and gloves, and more. Check out her project at @inland_natural_history