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The Rubbish Collection - exhibition closed

Discover the beauty, value and volume of ‘rubbish’ we produce in this unique two-part exhibition, which traces the journey of waste generated by the Museum over 30 days, as part of our Climate Changing programme.

In phase one, artist Joshua Sofaer invites you to participate in collecting, sorting, photographing and documenting one month’s worth of rubbish produced by the Science Museum’s visitors, staff, contractors and exhibition projects, to help create a visual day-to-day archive of our rubbish. The exhibition exposes the materials, the volume and the intrigue surrounding what we think of as ‘rubbish’, before it continues its onward journey to be recycled.

Through beautiful displays of waste materials at various stages of processing, phase two of the exhibition highlights that the things we throw away do not simply disappear - here they will instead be transformed to showcase the value and beauty that can be found in waste we produce.

What does one month of rubbish from one institution look like? Be part of this compelling exhibition that invites you appreciate the impact and the fate of what we throw away.

About the artist

Joshua Sofaer is an artist who often uses irreverent humour to play with familiar formats such as the chat show, competition, lecture or museum display. By inviting his audience to take part, Sofaer uses art to inspire, celebrate and expose hidden facets of our daily lives. 

Sofaer has exhibited and performed internationally, most recently directing a new staged version of Bach’s St Matthew Passion for Folkoperan in Stockholm. He was a winner of the 2009 Bank of America CREATE Art Award, and the first Artist Fellow on the 2010/11 Clore Leadership Programme.

Sofaer has a continuing interest in what we throw away. He had teams of collectors gathering rubbish from across London for Scavengers at Tate Modern, built a Rubbish Library for ARCUS in Japan and spent three months in Brazil working with catadores – human scavengers of rubbish.

Image credits

Science Museum Rubbish © Science Museum 2014 
Rubbish Collection Phase two © Katherine Leedale

The Rubbish Collection

Watch artist Joshua Sofaer and Science Museum curator Sarah Harvey talk about the inspiration behind this unique art-installation.

Rubbish of the day

Take a look at The Rubbish Collection's Tumblr to see the highlights.

On Saturday evening, the Science Museum played...
The Rubbish Collection by Joshua Sofaer Joshua...
Living in a materials world - the human story...

The Rubbish Collection - exhibition closed

Discover the beauty, value and volume of ‘rubbish’ we produce in this unique two-part exhibition

The Rubbish Collection is funded as part of the Climate Changing Programme with thanks to:

Principal sponsors        Major sponsor       Major funders
With additional support from 

Shell      Siemens

     Bank of America logo

    Garfield Weston logo 
DEFRA logo    Science Museum Patrons    Science Museum Founders