Michelle Korte Leccia

Interdisciplinary Artist & Educator


The Gulp Away installation symbolically maps the actual routes of canned soft drinks arriving at and departing from Columbia College’s campus as a commentary on our consumption driven society. In a tangle of tubing, plastic bags, tires and aluminum cans, participants are invited to “drive” along cluttered walls using  provided black paint and textured rollers. A music box version of “Row Row Row Your Boat” fills the auditory space, provoking questions around the fantasy and confusion created by consumerism.
Row Your Boat
During project research I discovered that much of the aluminum to be recycled moves though a system of railways and sea ports from Chicago to Los Angeles and ends up in China. The ingredients, of course, have other trajectories, not to mention the industrial run-off from production and transportation- all of which was were eluded to through graffiti style icons and found object sculptures: corn, waterways, roads, factories, tires, plastic bags… Gulp Away makes the larger world of consumption and waste, of which we are all a part, more transparent. 

The project was generously funded by a Critical Encounters grant.

The Big Clean up is documentation of the artist taking down the installation.
The performance of it is yet another commentary on the laborious and dirty job of cleaning up the effects of industrial pollution.