a tour of L.A.’s rarely seen or discussed scavenger community– mostly new immigrants trawling the city’s streets for semi-valuable waste, in this case mattresses left on the sidewalkThe show biz connection may be of interest as well.
In Los Angeles, mattresses left out at curbsides and in alleyways are picked up, put on trucks and brought to mattress recycling centers as part of subsistence scavenging. However, some mattresses also end up in local prop houses and eventually are used as set dressing on films. Once brought into the circulation of objects within the cultural industry of Hollywood, a cast-off and often soiled, ripped and stained mattress attains revalorization through its symbolic role as a functional mattress on screen. Based on ethnographic fieldwork within the film industry, I use the example of a mattress plucked from the street and used in the film Fight Club (1999) to discuss Hollywood as an alternative waste regime.[L.A. Taco]