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ilaria marzano unravels the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and AI dystopia

art 159 shares connections: +350

global fashion capitals transform into waste sites

 

Ilaria Marzano’s artwork Back To Square One confronts us with a bleak scenario: what if textile remnants from Accra, a city in Ghana where the West dumps 15 million garments weekly, were instead deposited in our squares and streets? The response is embodied in Marzano’s fusion of textile maps and AI-generated images, across which the artist poses the stark impact of our actions — envisioning New York’s Washington Square, Paris’ Champs-Élysées, and Milan’s Piazza Duomo consumed by textile waste. These global fashion capitals now bear the weight of the textile waste crisis and serve as a poignant reminder of the toxic power dynamics between waste producers and those grappling with it.

ilaria marzano unravels the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and AI dystopia
Piazza del Duomo | all images courtesy of Ilaria Marzano

 

 

ilaria marzano sheds light on textile waste crisis

 

Presented at Info+ 2023 in Edinburgh, Ilaria Marzano’s installation showcases city maps of New York, Paris, and Milan on recycled cotton canvases. The artist transforms each canvas into a patchwork of fabric scraps, illustrating the expansive surface area occupied by textile waste within bales of 200 garments, each measuring 70x50cm. The physical manifestation of waste integrates with an AI-generated video, projecting dystopian scenarios that could unfold in the midst of such circumstances.

ilaria marzano unravels the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and AI dystopia
a large part of the Champs-Élysées would be covered with discarded clothes

 

 

For this work, Ilaria Marzano drew from the dire situation in Accra. The Western practice of discarding used or unwanted clothing, some of which finds its way to Accra’s thriving second-hand market, sets the stage for an unsettling paradox. Ghanaian merchants purchase these bales, but the poor quality due to the influence of fast fashion, renders most unusable and unsellable. Much of the acquired clothing then becomes immediately unusable, sitting as a burden for local populations tasked with managing this enormous waste, and little resources to do so efficiently.

ilaria marzano unravels the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and AI dystopia
the whole Washington Square would be blanketed by the textile waste generated in a month

ilaria marzanos artwork unveils the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and ai dystopia 9
the map indicates the surface area of the Champs-Élysées occupied by textile waste

ilaria marzanos artwork unveils the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and ai dystopia 8
envisioning global fashion capitals now bearing the weight of the textile waste crisis

Ilaria-marzano-back-to-square-one-designboom-11

 

ilaria marzanos artwork unveils the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and ai dystopia 5
the installation sheds light on the toxic power dynamics between waste producers and those grappling with it

ilaria marzanos artwork unveils the textile waste paradox through fabric maps and ai dystopia 6
presented at Info+ 2023 in Edinburgh

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the patchwork of the maps is made from fabric scraps

 

 

project info:

 

name: Back to square one: When our fashion waste comes back to us
artist: Ilaria Marzano

 

 

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

 

edited by: ravail khan | designboom

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