Sunday, July 24, 2005

The Opposite of Shoplifting

In Culture Jamming News:








Shopdropping is an ongoing project in which I alter the packaging of canned goods and then "shopdrop" the items back onto grocery store shelves. I replace the packaging with labels created using my photographs. The "shopdropped" works act as a series of art objects that people can purchase from the grocery store. Because the barcodes and price tags are left intact purchasing the cans before they are discovered and removed is possible. In one instance a store employee even restocked the cans to a new aisle based on the barcode information.

Shopdropping strives to take back a share of the visual space we encounter on daily basis. Similar to the way street art stakes a claim to public space for self expression, Shopdropping subverts commercial space for artistic use.

Jamais at WorldChanging is reminded of another subversive-artsy-pranky-thing from way back:

Among the best pranks ever performed were the efforts of the Barbie Liberation Organization, which was supported by the organization ®™ark. In 1989, the BLO purchased hundreds of Teen Talk Barbie dolls (of "Math is hard!" and "I love shopping!" infamy) and Talking Duke G.I. Joe dolls (prone to shouting "Vengeance is mine!"), swapped their voice electronics, replaced them carefully in their boxes, and returned them to store shelves. As a result, Barbie demanded to hear the lamentations of her enemies, and G.I. Joe sought assistance for planning weddings. As the subsequent BLO statement put it, "The storekeepers make money twice, we stimulate the economy - the consumer gets a better product - and our message gets heard."

I always thought it would be cool to replace Barbie dolls with proportionally more correct ones, cellulite and all. Perhaps they could get ever-saggier over time and eventually lose control of their bladder and take on that unmistakable smell of piss and biscuits.

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