Pig 05049, 2008

Pig 05049, a book published by Rotterdam-based designer Christien Meindertsma in 2008, documents the 185 products that were made from a single pig. Meindertsma is interested in emphasizing the intrinsic social and political issues that define contemporary life. Concerned that globalization has encouraged a more narrow-minded approach to industry in which consumers have “hardly any idea of the route an animal takes to the various finished products,” Pig 05049 is neither a call to arms nor an activist manifesto, but nonetheless uses the life of a single animal to raise awareness of important social issues. The book reads like a visual data entry of the end-product of either skin, bones, meat, internal organs, blood, fat, and other miscellaneous parts such as the pig’s hair: used in paint brushes “because of their hardwearing nature” and bread “to soften dough.” The project took Meindertsma three years to research and involved collaborations with a host of individuals. “I met all kinds of people involved from farmers, butchers, pharmacists, aluminum mold makers and plastic surgeons.” Ultimately, the book encourages a greater understanding of the resources required to make products and how we treat and use them. “I believe it is important to make production processes far more transparent in order to take better care of what lies behind products,” Meindertsma concludes.

Christien Meindertsma. Pig 05049, 2009. Gift of FLOCKS/Christien Meindertsma.