When I am making art, I find myself forever slipping in and out of three main identities: the jokester, the alchemist, and the tinkerer. These identities correspond to four themes: humor, value, play, and waste. For this paper I will present historical and current artists who have fulfilled these roles and explore how they relate to the above themes, with particular emphasis on waste. I believe waste is an important topic because we are all complicit in its creation, and yet it is something most of us prefer to avert. I’m interested in the question: What is at stake when we discard waste? I believe there is a problem with the relationship society has with waste. In this paper I will examine how when we “other” waste, we separate from a part of ourselves.