Bottom Ash Observatory     2015

Bottom Ash Observatory is an encyclopaedic book that takes the reader on a 160 page journey, following the contents of a 25 kg bucket of bottom ash. The project, and resulting tome, reveals the astounding richness of this undervalued material. Bottom Ash is incinerated household waste; the waste of the waste. Through processes of sieving, drying, laser analysing and separating tens of thousands of pieces by hand, Meindertsma extracted a wealth of different materials. The book illustrates the potential of finding value is overlookedmaterials such as this. The precious materials found in the bucket of bottom ash such as; zinc, aluminium and silver, were melted down and reformed, creating a visual chart demonstrating the richness of thematerial.

The book was produced in collaboration with photographer Mathijs Labadie who photographed the materials with extreme precision. In choosing to represent this project in book-form Meindertsma references the volumes produced in the 18thcentury which depict newly discovered minerals and botany with both scientific accuracy and a sense of wonder. The original book and collected materials are part of the collection of the Boijmans van Beuningen museum.

Book is printed in an edition of 2000 by thomas eyck. 

COMMISSIONED BY: thomas eyck
CREDITS: Mathijs Labadie (Photography), AEB Amsterda, supported by Creative Industries Fund NL, Stichting Doen and Materiaalfonds.



Photography: Mathijs Labadie, Roel van Tour
Text edit: Laura Houseley
Graphic design: Kumi Hiroi
Coding: Henrik van Leeuwen


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