What do red tide, nationalism, and a shard of glass have in common? They are trash, waste, a stage in the great “nature–[semi-finished product–]culture–waste–nature” machine in which we find ourselves (Into the Universe of Technical Images, 2011, p. 108). Unfortunately, however, as automatically as this at first sight clear cycle presents itself, the machine doesn’t work like that. These days, trash is repulsively apparent on all levels; our culture is suffering from “circulatory problems,” the waste is backing up. There is only one solution to this problem: It is necessary to create radical archaeology of the garbage heap, a “science of trash” that keeps us from sinking in the rising flood of anti-values. For the age of the telematic society has not yet dawned, the age in which all the material support for storing information will no longer be required and culture of forgetting will have been established. There are, of course, enough people who get comfortable in the trash; who prefer to “die comfortably” (“Gespräch, Gerede, Kitsch,” in: Pross, Kitsch, 1985, p. 61; translated from the German), surrounded by kitsch – that supposed recycling of waste. But that is something for lovers of kitsch and isn’t for everyone. In the face of outdated Platonism and antiquated faith in progress, for those who do not want to drown in the ideologies of recycling and the neophilosophies, that leaves only one reasonable option: emptying the content, simply drinking without falling away from faith. For however one might turn and spin the trash, no matter whether one talks to it or gossips in it, one thing is certain: “the champagne, not the bottles, is important” (Dinge und Undinge, 1993, p. 26; translated from the German).
Original article by Vera Schwamborn