Maria Phillips

Maria Phillips

Artist Website

 By Maria Phillips, Disco Ball created with recycled chip bags.


Medium: Found object assemblage: single-serving chip bags, Capri Sun juice pouches, family-size chip bags, coffee bags; steel wire and electric motor

Dimensions: 4’ 5”, hanging length as needed 

Date: 2019                

Technofossil is the name given by scientists to denote the remains of man-made objects and construction since we as a species have started manufacturing long-lasting artifacts, including modern-day technology (computers, smartphones, and other electronic devices) that will still be found millions of years into the future embedded in the planet’s strata.

Technosphere rotates in the same direction as the earth, evoking a planet collapsing under the weight of human impact.

Artist’s Statement

It is nearly impossible to recycle snack bags such as these—comprised of multiple layers of material, usually foil and plastic—with the current technology at our disposal. Throughout the summer months, numerous kids attend camps and, in most cases, bring their own lunch. While visiting my son’s camp this summer, I discovered hundreds of these snack bags were being thrown away each day. This was just one of a thousand camps taking place in Seattle alone, not to mention across the country and the world. Every year 12 billion tons of flexible plastic packaging ends up in landfills. In 2019 alone U.S. exporters shipped more than 1 billion pounds of plastic waste to 96 countries* ostensibly to be recycled. Instead, much of it ends up in open air dumps.  


*The New York Times, Monday, August 31, 2020; “Big Oil Pivots to Plastics and Eyes Africa as Its Dumping Ground”, p. A1.