What did you buy today? Do you remember things you bought last week? What about their price? What was your emotional connection to buying these items? Desire? Necessity? Joy? Guilt? Consumerist societies make us buy everyday, think we need to buy and forget about the meaning or the story of our purchases. Depressing? Then let me recommend Kate Bingaman-Burt’s book Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? to you.
The Portland-based artist has been exploring consumerism and her connection to buying products since 2002. First, she photographed her daily purchases, then decided to draw her credit card statements to ward off the ghost of personal debt. Since February 5, 2006, she has drawn one her purchases every day. The final result, the book Obsessive Consumption, is a selection of these ink drawings made during a period of three years. “Parking tickets, coffee, packs of gum, shoes, electricity bills, and burritos.”
Through her innocent-looking drawings, Kate Bingaman-Burt opens critical eyes on her shopping habits, impulses or addictions, which reflect on ours. Witty notes tell us more than the author’s excitement when buying a long reach stapler or sunglasses. Kate Bingaman Burt brings mundane items back to life, she puts “a personal face on something that is mass produced”, and she manages to connect us as consumers whatever our convictions.
Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?
Published by Princeton Architectural Press, New York City
Paperback, 6 x 8 inches (15.2 x 20.3 cm)
208 pages, 550 color illustrations
—Click here to order Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?.