Sunday, June 03, 2007

Gift Economy

You too can be an Addicted to Capitalism collector! Remember those powerful pink cards I was making a couple of weeks ago? Well, the whole set of postcards has been launched and are yours to discover, collect, swap, buy, sell, give, trade, display, send, use as bookmarks or greeting cards, and otherwise enjoy.

Each card has one of the following phrases:
Drink Coffee- Capitalism's drug of choice.
Go Shopping - Capitalism needs your addiction
Sell Art- Capitalism values your creativity
Use Pornography - Let capitalism commodify* all your desires
Watch Television - A capitalist occupation.

The aphorisms on the cards came to me as I mused on how to price the books I plan to create with letterpress and how the work I want to make might fit into the art and book marketplaces. As I printed the cards I continued to wrestle with ideas about how to value my work appropriately and yet also share it widely. Finally I decided that I really want to give away most of these Addicted to Capitalism cards.

I thought about lots of possible methods to give them out and but settled on slipping them into library books because I love libraries and I hope that library users might be more likely to appreciate the gift of a thought-provoking, letterpress, kitchy-looking postcard.

And so, with the help of seven enthusiastic collaborators in four different countries, eight libraries around the world have been infiltrated and 160 Addicted to Capitalism postcards are secreted in books for lucky readers to find. Most will be found by random chance but a determined searcher could enhance their letterpress/art print/Meliors Simms book arts collection. There are plenty of clues to be found in past and future posts of this blog and those of my collaborators (e.g. Courtneyspondence) leading you to the libraries and the books where the postcards can be found.

I hope to hear from some of the folks who find the cards, whether by chance or otherwise. If one of the cards has come into your life, please share your story in the comments section.

For those who miss out on the library cards, or who particularly value the trappings of the art/fine press worlds, I have put aside 15 sets of cards as a limited 'collector's edition' which are signed and numbered, and housed in printed origami envelopes. These sets can be purchased for $NZ50 by contacting me through the comments function of this blog.

BTW I promise photos of the cards just as soon as I can borrow a decent camera...

*a thing that can be bought and sold or exploited within a market

1 comment:

Andrew Eason said...

Thought this might be of interest-
http://www.bookarts.uwe.ac.uk/bkmks5/project.htm

a bookmarks exchange project.