[ska-wa-ger -> skăv′ən-jər)]
1540s, originally “person hired to remove refuse from streets,” from Middle English scawageour (late 14c.), London official in charge of collecting tax on goods sold by foreign merchants, from Anglo-French scawager , from scawage “toll or duty on goods offered for sale in one’s precinct” (c.1400), from Old North French escauwage “inspection,” from a Germanic source (cf. Old High German scouwon , Old English sceawian “to look at, inspect;” see show (v.)).
It has come to be regarded as an agent noun in -er , but the verb is a late back-formation from the noun. With intrusive -n- (c.1500) as in harbinger, passenger, messenger. Extended to animals 1590s. Scavenger hunt is attested from 1937.
1. An animal, such as a vulture or housefly, that feeds on dead or decaying matter.
2. One that scavenges, as a person who searches through refuse for useful items.
3. Chemistry A substance added to a mixture to remove or inactivate impurities.
4. Art Project by Raf Veulemans & Miraschi
Skawager for ecology
SKAWAGER is an ongoing art project by the Belgian artists duo Raf Veulemans and Miraschi since 2012.
Both artists share a deep concern for the state of the world and more specifically the conditions of nature and environment, and this is deeply grounded into their work.
Due to the increased power given to us through science and technology, we are learning how nature works – the gene, the atom, the brain. We are affecting our own evolution by everything we do.
With these new powers, we can destroy our life support systems … or we can move toward a hope-filled future of immeasurable possibilities. The choice is ours.
Their artworks are sometimes subtle and sometimes explicit, but never indifferent. Like scavengers, the artists work with dead materials: science, art and nature are drawn together in bio-assemblages.