Myers and Berg’s description of Enjoy it… While it Lasts is that “Things disappear. Sometimes things disappear as the result of an accident. Sometimes neglect causes things to disappear. Sometimes things are intentionally made to disappear” (Enjoy it… While it Lasts). This piece is about something disappearing, but as discussed before, it is more directly about consumption. The popsicle does not just disappear on its own, someone or something must act upon it in order for it to disappear.
Given the bite marks on the popsicle, that act is human consumption. In this case, consumption refers to eating, but the consumption of the popsicle here could relate to either the idea of physically eating, or even using up or purchasing something. This is an art piece and terms can be broadly applied to a wide spectrum of ideas and possible meanings. One possible interpretation of this piece is that it is about humanity’s consumption of the earth’s resources. Coal, oil and natural gas are resources that human beings use for energy.
Especially in developed countries, the human species has been using these resources at an alarming rate, and for many decades, scientists have reminded us that these resources are not renewable, so if societies continue to use them at the rate they are now, the resources will soon be depleted. Even if we slow the rate at which we use the resources, we will soon be unable to support the growing population, and the resources will still run out, just at a slower rate. This is where the popsicle analogy is appropriate. Just like the fossil fuels, the popsicle will eventually be gone, even if one slows the rate at which they consume the popsicle.
The difference is that humankind needs energy to sustain our population, but they do not literally need popsicles or the energy they get from consuming popsicles. The earth’s resources can also be compared to the appeal and consumption of the popsicle. The flora and fauna of the world is delightful to humankind, much like a popsicle might be a delight to an individual. When one considers the rainforests and the deforestation that takes place there in order to support a growing human population, this relates to the consumption of the popsicle.
People may neglect to think about the consequences of deforestation or the use of fossil fuels, even though they may be a participant in these processes through their consumption of paper products or devices that need energy. The person consuming the popsicle might also be in denial about the impermanence of the popsicle, or the consequences of consuming it. Russ Crest, an author at Beautiful Decay magazine, says of Myers and Berg’s work; “ Sometimes something must be broken or fractured in order for us to see its value. This may be especially true for our environment.
Only when we see the consequences of our actions do we begin to understand our complicity in fracturing it” (Crest). People do not notice the destruction of the environment until awareness is brought to it, either in their real life or in news media. Until then, people take nature for granted. Based on Rebekah Myers and Tim Berg’s other work, it seems likely that the message of this piece may be an environmental one. Some of their other pieces, including Tip of the Iceberg and Against the Tide are more directly related to the environment in terms of their subject matter.
Tip of the Iceberg features 6 pink ceramic penguins standing packed on a white MDF iceberg, and Against the Tide portrays a ceramic polar bear with black feet standing on shipping pallets. These are blatant references to the environment and the consequences of humankind’s involvement. This is especially true of Against the Tide — the shipping pallets and the black stains on the bear’s feet relate to the BP oil spill, and event that negatively affected the environment, and was the fault of human beings.
The artists also said themselves in an interview that, “The pieces Enjoy it…While it Lasts, Get ‘em ‘fore They’re Gone and Eat Your Heart Out are all meant to be considered within a broader context that demonstrates the important interconnectedness between human appetites and the implications that these appetites have on our environment” (Interview with Artists Timothy John Berg and Rebekah Myers). The artists’ intended for this piece to be about the consequences of humans acting upon the environment.