In Poetics of the Discarded Lori Goldberg focuses on refuse sites, those strategically hidden places usually relegated to the outskirts of town. With an interest in memory and objects, Goldberg was influenced by the mass of collective memory each scrap heap represented. Within the refuse there were mounds and mounds of history: the detritus of days spent, life and death, business, conveniences used, sentimental things broken and so much more.
For Goldberg, the creative response to visiting refuse sites was a visceral, tactile and physically releasing experience. The artwork in Poetics of the Discarded brings scrap heaps out of their places of exile and makes them into cultural monuments. By creating these towering entities of lively brushstrokes, Goldberg invites the viewer to discover, as she did, an intrinsic beauty in these sites. In these artworks, refuse sites are re- contextualized and resurrected as a visual reminder of the ongoing narrative between humans and their environment. These painterly renderings of toppling scrap heaps remind us quietly: that which we discard doesn’t disappear.