About Design track
Tal Mor Sinay
Is plastic just a pollutant, a cheap, contemptible material, or a celebration of colors, liberation and equality? Some belittle and disrespect it, while others are happy to host huge, multicolored dinners. I’m interested in the class aspect of plastic. When disposable plastic products were taxed in Israel, this was seen as damaging poorer communities and the very identity elements of religious communities in particular. It’s difficult to imagine Sabbath and holiday dinners in ultra-Orthodox communities without mountains of plastic cups, plates and utensils that finally find their way to the trash can.
I will examine the class aspects of plastic in Israeli society using an aesthetic approach. I will present a broad range of “tables” – an archive of gazes on the sense of luxury gained by setting fancy tables – despite the fact that everything is made of plastic.
Traditionally – ever since the royal courts of the ancient era – setting the dinner table has been a site for demonstrating power and wealth. Tables set with great opulence have been designed to exhibit the status of the well-mannered noblemen through their ability to use each utensil at the right moment.
In my magnificent table, plasticware replaces silverware. The entire responsibility of looking after the original set – buying high-quality, fragile and expensive tableware, and carefully sorting and washing them – that entire burden disappears when using plastic.
Can a middle path be found, between mass-produced plastic for the masses and the environmental damage it entails, and the use of overly priced tableware that serve as a status symbol? Can plastic be used in new, sustainable ways, enabling everyone to enjoy a lavish feast while protecting the planet?