(M)eet de Plastics

Muireann Nic An Bheatha

Keywords: Plastic, Performance

muireannnicanbheatha@hotmail.com, muireann.art

Life in plastic, it's fantastic

Imagination, life is your creation

A plastic world is created in front of you, then taken apart, melted and eaten: the creative process is the work. Plastic remnants accumulate in the space with every performance. The space and installation are continually altered with the creation of new plastics and through interactions with the plastics already in the space. Plastic is such a prevalent material that we think we know what it is, but through creating my own alternative plastics I ask; what is Plastic and what can it be?

Come in and meet the plastics.

Performances daily at the graduation show and bioplastic cooking worksops!

Photos: Jesus Canuto Iglesias



This thesis looks at plastics and the word plastic in all of its forms and potential forms. It uses different readings and interpretations of what plastic is to try to form new understandings of how we can live with this material. It explores how we live with plastics; how they affect our bodies and our lives, and it argues for and against the different forms of plastics that exist and speculates on potential new ways of living with and using plastic materials. The thesis argues that when understanding plastics and their role in our lives, simplistic dichotomies cannot be used as plastic is such a complex material. My arguments are accompanied by images and examples of the plastics that I am talking about, and some of the plastic materials are even included in the pages. The thesis starts with an introduction to plastics and their history, exploring how they became so ingrained in our lives. It then moves on to explore their effects on the environment, but also how they benefit us. The next chapter looks at how plastics affects non-humans and the potential for collaboration with the non-human to tackle plastic pollution. It then looks at other forms of plastics linguistically and culturally and how synthetic plastics are affecting our bodies. The analysis closes with a chapter on different artistic solutions, some speculative, on tackling plastic waste and living with plastics in the future. The conclusion summarizes the thesis arguments and presents my own speculative plastic future.

Chapter Titles:

Defining Change: What is Plastic?

Remains to be Seen: Plastic Destruction and Repair

Growing Plastic: The Non-Human and Plastics

Life in Plastic, it’s Fantastic: Gender, The Body and Plastic

The Plasticene: The Future of Plastics

Conclusions: Potentialities materialized