The Plastic Conservation Conundrum: Preserving Plastics in Museum Collections and Plastics' Durability in the Environment
Plastics have brought massive shifts to collective perceptions of disposability, yet this multifarious material persists in the environment for aeons. As both scientists and art conservators are aware, it is not an inert material, despite its classification as such. The ‘disposable permanence’ of plastic is more than a contradiction in terms. This panel dialogues with art conservators who work to preserve plastic objects despite the toxic and irreparable ways they can deteriorate, and scientists who analyze the paths and fate of plastics and its deterioration the environment. Conservators, scientists, and curators on plastics attempt to understand a material with an opaque chemical make-up shrouded by industry secrets and unknown effects. This program speculates that links between diverse specialized fields may lead to a greater whole understanding of the long-term effects of plastics.
With Courtney Asztalos, Roger Griffith, Sherry Phillips, Lorena Rios Mendoza, moderated by Kelly Jazvac
This event is held in conjunction with the exhibition Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through on view at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto from September 8 through November 20, 2021.