Environmental Art: Unintentional Aerosol Can Explosion

This is part of a series where I examine interesting pieces of environmental art.

The image to the right is a photo of an aerosol spray can explosion inside a flammable storage cabinet. The can wasn’t old and there wasn’t any fire or unusual heat or pressure added. It made this cool splash on the door and sides, with the rest of the paint soaking the bottom. I was surprised when I opened the cabinet. I think my reactions were, “What the?” and then, “Cool.” Is this environmental art? It is art at all since it was unintentional? I think the unintentional part makes it better than if it was deliberate. In fact, there seems to be a whole class of unintentional or accidental art. I thought it was interesting enough to take a photo of it. Therefore, I’m calling it art.

I classify this as Environmental Art for three reasons.

1. I discovered it while conducting an environmental compliance review of a facility. I am an environmental scientist and was performing a job. The relation between environmental-related work and it’s discovery makes it environmental art to me.

The exploded aerosol can.

2. The waste paint and exploded can have to be disposed of as waste. The can is recycled and the paint cleaned up. There are actual environmental tasks related to the art.

3. I will use the images and story as an educational tool for environmental, health, and safety training. This makes an excellent illustration for storing flammable substances in a flammable storage cabinet. What if the can had exploded outside of the storage cabinet? If environmental art is about making an environmental-related statement, then this is definitely environmental art.

It’s interesting, it’s related to environmental work, and it will be used for educational purposes. That hits enough points to be environment art. Unfortunately, I don’t think it’s meets the criteria for Outsider Art. Homer had that one covered. Watch this clip if you’re not sure what I’m referencing. http://www.simpsonsworld.com/video/320980547859