Value is one of those things that is totally subjective - nobody but you can truly decide how much weight you place on things in your life - where that meaning originates from or why you even care about it to begin with. It could be influenced by memories, associations, upbringing, cultural ties, personal aesthetics and taste, or even just lighting.

Because it is so subjective, value is also very fluid.

one of my studio set-ups, (cal poly 2014)

one of my studio set-ups, (cal poly 2014)

The things you value and hold dear to your heart often change as time passes, similar to the way your emotional attachments, aesthetic taste and beliefs can develop over time. There is also the monetary value that can be attached to objects/activities to consider as well. For example, the way you felt about your childhood romance is (probably) forgotten now, even though it may have meant the world to you at the time. Or the things you wanted to save all your money for as a thirteen year old are (hopefully) very different than what you're saving for today. 

The point being, value is almost never static. That inconsistency, uncertainty, and fluctuation is something that I've had an interest in it since I started working sculpturally - how it can change, grow, wane, etc.  I often try to observe how context and stimulus can influence value; being an artist that largely works in collage, changing the value of the medium itself is important. Essentially, I use materials that someone else would just as easily regard as trash, so I have to challenge the audience's view of the materials in my work. Something they may have discarded is something I am making a conscious effort to display, and for a viewer to see my creations as more than just trash hanging on the wall -  thats the goal, right?

Its the tiny details in these trash pieces that strike me - small patterns, textures, objects, backgrounds, type faces, etc. Small objects taken out of context can be brought into focus, given an entirely new meaning, and highlighted as something beautiful. 

Upon moving to Japan right after graduation, I struggled to explain my artistic concepts with people because of the language barrier. Explaining that I had gone out of my way to specifically collect old televisions, half-smoked cigarette butts, recycled architecture projects, cardboard costco boxes and wrappers, 
my mother's vintage fashion mags, throwaway vhs and vinyl cases from goodwill bins, and discarded furniture...was not that easy. Some people thought I was involved in community service, or serving some kind of janitorial punishment within the art department.

I think people initially thought I was either insane or extremely committed to recycling, but I finally found the Japanese phrase that hit home and I started working on a series entitled 'iranaimono.'

iranai - meaning 'do not need'
mono - meaning 'things'

core meaning : things that i, you, we, anybody, doesn't need anymore.


here are some photos of my collage process - finding, collecting, hoarding, assembling. also a few snapshots of the early collages from my sketchbooks. 


-Eimi Tagore-Erwin // EASTE