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catalog//catalogue//plastic disaster

From exactly 5pm Sunday to 5am Wednesday Colin and I worked with furious productivity to re-burn/collage/print/xerox our entire back catalog. As with everything we done, this is a hand made, sharpie on CD-R, photo copies, and glue sticks affair.

We made 50 Electric Animals Go Sleepy Bye-Byes, 25 Frog Operas, and 10 Fortune Favors the Brave. We burned all the CDs ourselves and actually had to re-burn all 50 of Electric Animals because we used some bad data and the last 3 or 4 tracks were glitched and staticy (in a bad way). Lesson Learned #1: Always double/triple check the files and songs you are burning.

Frog Opera was very fun to make but took a significant amount of time to collage together. Xeroxed inserts are on the inside. Lesson Learned #2: While professional printing would be great, nothing really compares to something that is hand made and unique.

Fortune Favors the Brave was an expensive endeavor because we got some color print outs of Colins msPaintings and decided to make a booklet out of the images and story. Lesson Learned #3: Double check your measurements and math! We totally messed up the size of the images and had this awful white margin on the side of all the print outs. Colin, in a brilliant show of creative problem solving, turned it into a design feature that ended up being better than anything we could have done on purpose.

These are available only on the Screaming Females latest cross country tour. Unless you can convince Colin to save you one, these are it for these releases. They will be online by next month.

Eitherway, it was a comedy ("I made the stamp for the booklets but forgot to make it a mirror image") and tragedy ("I left the collage in the scanner in NYC") of errors.

To make the CDs we used jewel cases Ive collected over the years, Colins stash from home, and a huge bin of cases we got from Shawn Giannattasio. While we were making burning the CDs I researched how to recycle the cases we wouldnt need and found this out:

"Jewel cases are made out of polyvinyl chloride (PVC), a petrochemical-based plastic that is notoriously difficult to recycle and has been linked to elevated cancer rates among workers and neighbors where it is manufactured. Also, the lead often added to strengthen PVC can contaminate water, soil and air around PVC manufacturing sites.

Worse yet, because it contains a variety of additives and lacks a uniform composition, PVC is far less recyclable than other plastics. Its quality degrades after only two or three "cycles." Greenpeace has identified PVC as the least recycled of the six major common plastics. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that less than one percent of total post-consumer PVC is recovered or reprocessed.

As a result, most municipal recycling centers do not accept PVC products, meaning that millions of CD jewel cases either take up room indefinitely in landfills, where they won't biodegrade, or are incinerated. And unfortunately, the burning of PVC creates airborne dioxins." -- E: The Environmental Magazine, Nov-Dec, 2005 by John O'Dwyer, Bianca Hoffman.

This was incredibly surprising because I have always assumed you could just recycle jewel cases like plastic bottles and cans. It makes me wonder about the record execs who decided to use this material knowing full well their goal was to produce millions upon millions of these plastic cases that are dangerous to make and cannot be recycled or disposed of safely.

So wtf do I do with these? There is a company called Green Disk who can recycle them but you have to pay 7 bucks plus shipping to get it to them. They are located in Washington and estimated total cost for these CDs is just under 20 dollars. I dont know if I can drop that to get rid of them but then again, if I throw them out all they have left to do is sit in land fills for the rest of eternity poisoning ground water. We figured the best thing to do is to keep re-using them so we put all 50 Electric Animal CDs into cases but there are still a bunch left and I have no idea what to do with them. Any suggestions? I am going to try FreeCycle them but I dont know how successful that is going to be. If anyone wants a ton of jewel cases let me know.

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