The Fussy Eye: Luminous Refuse

Disposable light at Soil Gallery.

Because it is pink, and because it glows, Tyler Cufley's Untitled (Dumpster) was the hit of the First Thursday art walk this month. But the translucent polyethylene container might have looked even cooler outside in an alleyway, parked among its green, battered brethren. Indoors, the thing is lit from within by two Dan Flavin–style fluorescent tubes—both white, since the color comes from the paneled exterior. Sliced, glued, bent, and assembled, the plastic material couldn't be worth much more than the recycling you find in an ordinary Dumpster; and the lights look to be standard-order from Home Depot. (Fun fact: You're not supposed to recycle light bulbs, but toss them out.) Seattle-based and UW-trained, Cufley has previously Photoshopped the wheels off cars—to make them levitate—and the signage off buildings, to make them indistinguishable. This ordinary urban receptacle is similarly transformed. As with the floating cars and featureless strip-mall buildings, a new strangeness is imparted. But it's not conceptual art (maybe one reason it's so popular). This Dumpster is empty of meaning, full of light. (Through June 26.)

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