The Dumpster Project

A lifetime of found treasures meticulously collaged into one 30-yard container


Like a young, curious boy trapped in a grown man’s body, collagist, animator, director and all-around creative renaissance man Mac Premo has collected a lifetime’s worth of somehow-sentimental objects in his Brooklyn Studio. Now, spurred by the move to a smaller studio, he was forced to get rid of many of these innumerable “treasures.” Rather than discard them Premo decided to build one massive collage inside a 30-yard dumpster, and thus The Dumpster Project was born.

Previously residing in Brooklyn’s Dekalb Market, the Dumpster Project recently made the journey down to the Miami Design District for The Pulse Art Fair. Here Premo displayed his walk-in-collage and its 500-or-so inhabitants for all to see and experience.

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Once inside it’s immediately apparent that this is no dumpster simply full of junk, but a collage in every essence. And although the concept sounds overwhelming, the execution is anything but. As a skilled craftsman on many levels and certified carpenter Premo has meticulously built every object into the structure, filling each and every nook to form one free-flowing, interweaving three dimensional collage.

Perched atop never-ending shelving and tables—which stand above a salvaged hardwood floor—you’ll find some 500 unique treasures each holding an equally unique story. From Premo’s favorite skateboard he’s owned for 30 years to half a portrait of Chinese Communist leader Chairman Mao and half-a-Jesus, to a ticket stub from a baseball game that never happened.


“The stuff we keep that appears to have no use, no actual value, that’s the stuff that defines us. Not the actual objects, but the stories behind them,” reasons Premo. And so, to tell said tales he photographed and cataloged each talisman prior to assembling of the Dumpster. All of which can be seen alongside a cheeky blurb on his explanatory blog. Updated with one object each day to keep readers on their toes for the next year and a half, the blog makes a perfect between-work-assignments site to check.

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To learn more about Premo and his art keep an eye on The Dumpster Project, now touring with future sites and dates soon-to-be announced.