I like to think that Julie Bargmann fights the good fight. She grew up cruising through the New Jersey Turnpike, under powerlines, past the oil refineries and through America's dumping ground, The Meadowlands. Now she dedicates her research and practice, D.I.R.T. (Dump It Right There) Studio, to taking on abandoned railyards, closed quarries and landfills, disused factories and former coal mines. And with more than half a million contaminated sites in the US alone, there's a strong argument for remediating what's been used, rather than sprawling out and building new. Her practice is a critical one, which means there's no erasing the evidence. Instead, she works to transform the waste produced by a century of manufacturing and consumption into something culturally and ecologically productive. She's got a pink hard-hat and a quick wit, and a willingness to get her hands dirty and talk about things like "beauty," in a way that redefines it for us all.
-- Heather Ring ("D.I.R.T. Studio," Archinect 10/2/2006 www.archinect.com)
Published: February 26, 2008