Mary Ellen Carroll

Mary Ellen Carroll and Billy Dufala planned to collaborate on a project at RAIR since meeting in 2007 during the Arts/Industry residency program at the Kohler Company in Wisconsin. For ICA@50, they chose to work with the most valuable material available at Revolution Recovery: 1,400-pound bales of compressed metal. Sculpted in an amphibious theater on the recycling center’s campus, the bales provided a musical stage for the musicians Carroll and Dufala invited to create a new genre of music – Waste Music – and perform during an audience-less Festival of Metal. The two bales that were on view in the ICA’s gallery were similarly used as performance platform for the band METAL EYES (Van Tingley and Jackson Durham) during the exhibition opening April 16th.

For inspiration, Carroll and Dufala looked at the recycling facility’s business model: “…the conceptualization began with their process as potential. It was not to create a work that would go back into Revolution Recovery's waste stream as requested, but to make something that would conceptually expand their processes and the materiality of waste, both as a commodity and as a genre.” The result was the development of the first waste music festival.