Urban beachcombing

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Jun 15 08:28:32 UTC 2008

I saw an artist's statement for an art show today where she described
collecting garbage for art in the city as urban beachcombing.

There are about 99 Googits, not all of which pan out.
1. I read this fascinating article on dumpster diving. I didn't
realize it was such a cottage-industry. What's even more interesting
that the article is a link it includes to a Usenet group:alt.dumpster:
<i>today was my first time diving, i had a very lucky day. i found a
pocket book with 22 dollars in it, 11 records, a cassetee rack, a box
of old bottles, a clock, and some cookie sheets</i>

I guess it's kind of like urban beachcombing. (http://www.darrenbarefoot.com/2003/01/31.html
  by Darren Barefoot on 31 January 2003)

2. Concerning the film _The Gleaners and I_

A widely-admired work by the godmother of French film, which essays
the wastefulness of western society through a clutch of interviews
with various compulsive recyclers and scavengers.

The ‘gleaners’ include a cordon-bleu chef, gypsies, winemakers,
artists (and the director), while supermarkets and corporates come in
for flak for their mean-spirited tactics in discouraging urban
beachcombing. (http://www.arovideo.co.nz/film.php?FilmID=7278)

Other meanings:
3. Evidently about browsing shops:

I came across several great idea generating craft books recently on
one of my ~urban beachcombing~ jaunts. (http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=10507565

4. _Making Skin-on-Frame Boats_ has a chapter titled "Urban
Beachcombing" in the section "Design, Tools & Materials". Not sure
what it's about.

5. Breaking up sewage:

At the treatment plant, a handful of city workers tote shovels for
their daily routine -- urban beachcombing, they call it (http://www.redorbit.com/news/science/575170/what_happens_when_you_flush_at_detroits_sewage_plant_filth/index.html
  by Marisol Bello "What Happens When You Flush: At Detroit's Sewage
Plant, Filth is Filtered Out of the Water, 17 July 2006, redOrbit.com)

Nothing in the Corpus of American English. BB

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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