Trashlantis began as a "kinetic sculpture" to compete in races

Our team of artists, engineers, athletes and performers created a mobile performance piece so we could talk to people about our plastic addiction. After we won some awards, we retired the theme and are ready to develop the next iteration of our art for next year's races. Meanwhile, enthusiasm for Trashlantis is only growing, so we're re-imagining the performance as a festival - and you get to come play, too!

Here's more of the story:


Covering three days and about 42 miles of sand, road, water and wind in under 10 hours, Team Pineapple wins the big trophy for a second year in a row, beating out a field of 45 other entries to become Grand Champions 2023!

I caught Covid the day before the race and had to step way back on my duties. The team asked that I come to Humboldt anyway, masked and sequestered. I really enjoyed spectating at a distance and watching them shine. This year's race included many twists and turns, from a false start to course sabotage that lead a third of the teams to miss the turn to the finish line! See more at Kinetic Universe.

We're a creative collective of artists and athletes using humor, ingenuity and muscle power to engage the public. We use whimsy and a personal approach to bypass advertising supersaturation. Our foolishness slips past people's message fatigue, prompting a fresh start for better conversations about the civilization-scale crises facing humanity.

Our latest artivism is focused on initiating conversations about plastic pollution with our latest action, Trashlantis. Find us at these venues (with more to come!)

What is Trashlantis about? 

Exiles from Atlantis have survived in the Pacific Ocean on whatever scraps they could gather. Plastic became incorporated into their physiology through a quirk of genetic predisposition, and now a great city of Trashlanteans dwells beneath the vast floating rafts of durable and buoyant plastic of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Part human, part fish and part garbage, Trashlanteans rely upon a steady stream of abandoned nets and floats to sustain their growing population. The rafts of plastic have been readily available - until now.

Suddenly, Drylanders are cleaning up the ocean.  Trashlantean food forests are being pulled up onto barges as "garbage" and being hauled away. 

Trashlanteans are starving. They are coming to Dryland, seeking the source of their lifegiving plastic. 

An ocean barge removes several tons of abandoned fishing nets from the ocean as Trashlanteans attempt to pull the nets back into the sea.
Four people pedal an amphibious vehicle in Humboldt Bay. The vehicle is dressed up to look like a cathedral with whales swimming around it

We won Humboldt's 2022 Kinetic Grand Championship with our human-powered amphibious kinetic sculpture Humpbacks of Notre Dame. This year we bring you a story ripped from today's headlines: plastic is washing into the oceans and creating brand-new ecosystems. We will be performing as a university of Trashlanteans, strange half-human, half-fish and half-trash beings from an ancient oceanic civilization.

We are building Trashlantis as a mobile performance piece, a backdrop for deep meaningful conversations with people about the myth of recycling and the hazards of living in a "plastisphere." As we comb the beaches and byways, sidewalks and highways for more plastic to build our Trashlantean civilization, we'll speak with humans about their relationship to this amazing material,and maybe even provide a splash of hope to those who are already working towards a toxin and trash free future.

We are actively seeking sponsors who align with our message.  As the race season approaches, more opportunities to engage with the public will be presented. 

Trashlantis tracked in real-time

Trashlantis at Deadman's Drop in the Samoa Dunes

Our radio tracker brought a new way to engage with Glorious Spectators this past race. And it proved invaluable to me, since I had come down with Covid! I was staying away from people and exertion, so following my team on the tracker became one of the ways I participated.

The Northcoast Environmental Center 

Caroline Griffith appears uncertain she should be friends with a Trashlantean at Arcata Plaza on race day

Big gratitude to our friends at Northcoast Environmental Center. They made art, supported the team, came to the start and joined in the fun! So glad you were part of the journey this year.
If you're in Eureka/Arcata, make a trashy entry for their Craft for the Coast contest!


Trashlantean Petroleum Alliance