The Plastic Archive

The Plastic Archive

The Plastic Archive


We are surrounded by a substance that we can no longer escape. Plastic has spread at rapid speed and intertwined with existing matter. The production of synthetic materials such as the hard plastic PVC has shaped and changed our understanding of economy, aesthetics and social interaction.

Plastic is inseparable from our experience of everyday life; it is a persistent molecule. It has been actively contributing to the earth’s cycles for decades. It appears in the deepest parts of the Pacific Ocean, as prostheses in the human body, as particles in living matter. Plastic has become an icon in design and pop culture, a record, a credit card, a material in the automobile industry. Now it is pushing its way beneath the earth’s surface: individual layers of rock are beginning to enclose the plastic, and so the history of the earth is already heralding the approaching end of the plastic era.

The end of plastic must be celebrated: The performance platform Rotterdam Presenta invites us to commemorate the plastic and follow its traces. They dig into the synthetic layer that has been deposited in everyday life and on the planet and gather the finds in a digital archive. The Plastic Archive gathers objects made of plastic and their stories, their sounds and their great performances. And it brings together interviews with experts in plastic production and archaeology, art and business. Rotterdam Presenta invites you to rummage through the archive together and to dive into the deeper layers of synthetic earth history.


The Plastic Archive

Rotterdam Presenta



Rotterdam Presenta:
Stine Hertel,
Jan Rohwedder,
Johanna-Yasirra Kluhs,
Niels Bovri,
Christian Al-Mosawi und Benedict Massolle (Present Progressive),
Clara Levy,
Subaru Moriwaki,
Carina Graf,
Frederik Donche,

Collaboration Sound Archive: Laurent Durupt und Maja Jantar

Insight into the digital collection The Plastic Archive in collaboration with the web design office Present Progressive, Düsseldorf/Essen.

Supported by:
Fonds Darstellende Künste,
the Ministry of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia,
North Rhine-Westphalia State Office for the Independent Performing Arts,
the Cultural Office of the City of Düsseldorf and Kunststiftung NRW