Artists and also cultural scientists have developed an inquisitive interest for waste early on. Waste has always been seen and read as a sign or an expression of social conditions, morales and mentalities, and also as an indicator of collective ideas of worthiness and unworthiness. The lecture picks up on this observation and deals with the following questions: What is it that constitutes waste as an object of cultural analysis? What would such a cultural science approach regarding discarding and disposal practices look like? Which attitudes and expectations are linked with waste as a resource? How can cultural science act as a waste science and vice versa? These considerations have resulted from the speaker’s long-term empirical and theoretical occupation with the topic of waste, refuse and disposal.
»Waste is an urgent problem of modern societies and, at the same time, a likewise rich and fascinating field of research in the cultural sciences.«