Dir. Sam Mendez seems to have had the last word on what heretofore shall be called the “Spontaneous Plastic Bag Ballet” (SPBB)—that brilliant free-form sky-dance performed by the loftiest of polyethylene ballerinas—but try to remember that bags have danced long before “American Beauty” and wherever there is wind and waste, it’s possible to glimpse the fevered pirouetting of these discarded ghosts.

Plastic bags remain with us for an eternity. Essentially indestructible, they dangle from naked tree branches and swirl across the sidewalks like perfect urban tumbleweeds. While more and more American cities are banning the bags, we still have plenty of time to enjoy some man vs. nature choreography.

When we encounter an SPBB, we are awestruck by the ugly beauty twirling before us. That feeling of suspended reality is quickly replaced by something between disappointment and exaltation: the false promise of a plastic world is made clear and aerial.

This video is an homage to trash, to mistakes, to destruction and to rising above it all. Pairing found footage with video shot on the Mana Contemporary grounds, SPBB highlights these beautiful human mistakes.

Music: “Roda Viva” by Chico Buarque

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