Slow Motion | Billy Dufala, Future Futures

Billy Dufala, Future Futures, 2024

Future Futures is both a sculpture and a material commodity. The forty bales are made of aluminum scraps that were diverted from landfills by human hands for future use. Aluminum tells multiple stories of circularity: although it is consistently discarded, it is able to maintain value through the process of its separation from a waste stream into a supply chain, its reuse, and its reconstitution into art. 

Playing with the language of Minimalism, Future Futures is staged to recall harrowing scenes from recycling centers that were filled with stacks of unsold materials during the 2014-2015 commodities market crash. Aesthetically, Minimalism suggests the art market’s austerity and sustainability, thus obscuring the harmful ecological implications and labor practices across modern industries that depend on raw materials. By visualizing the life cycles of aluminum, Dufala’s monument speaks to the environmental and social implications of raw materials before and after their use. For Dufala, the creative director of RAIR (Recycled Artists in Residency), this monument will continue to morph throughout the run of the exhibition and after the bales are sold back to the commodities market. The funds from the sale will form a micro-endowment that will earn interest on its holdings, supporting future creative projects. Such an approach to sculpture illuminates the social, political, and ecological implications of improvised systems, while prioritizing access and resource redistribution to collaborators and partners. By implementing the tools of the waste economy, this sculptural process highlights ways of seeing within an ever-changing waste landscape.

Materials: Recycled aluminum bales, zip ties

Project manager: Gina Ciralli 
Slow Motion curated by Patricia Eunji Kim for Monument Lab

Bf4d9ea1 C71f 4863 Ac9d E8dfefad14ccBilly Dufala (Born 1981 in Williamstown, NJ; he/him) is a Philadelphia-based artist/musician engaged in a wide variety of creative disciplines. He is a co-founder and Creative Director at RAIR (Recycled Artist In Residency), an artist residency located within Revolution Recovery, a construction and demolition waste recycling facility in northeast Philadelphia. RAIR’s mission is to challenge the perception of waste culture by providing a platform for artists at the intersection of art and industry. Billy is also known for his ongoing collaborative work with his brother Steven, as the Dufala Brothers.The brothers create drawings, prints, sculpture, performance, music, and design and are represented by Fleisher Ollman Gallery in Philadelphia. Billy received his Certificate in Sculpture from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where he co-taught with his brother Steven for over a decade.

Follow Billy Dufala on Instagram @bdufala to learn more about his work.

Major support has been provided to Grounds for Sculpture for Slow Motion by Bloomberg Philanthropies, the Brooke Barrie Art Fund, NRG Energy, and Julie and Michael Nachamkin. Additional support has been provided by the Atlantic Foundation, Holman, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and New Jersey Department of State.

Image Credits

  • Billy Dufala, Future Futures, 2024, Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey, Slow Motion curated by Patricia Eunji Kim for Monument Lab; Peter Woytuk, Bull #5 and Bull #4, 2002, Gift of The Seward Johnson Atelier (photo: Bruce M. White)

  • Billy Dufala,Future Futures, 2024 (details), Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, New Jersey, Slow Motion curated by Patricia Eunji Kim for Monument Lab (photo: Bruce M. White)