Consumerism’s a Drag
Consumerism is a social phenomenon that takes place within a capitalistic “free market” economy such as the USA. The goal of consumerism is to consume, the more you consume the more successful you are. Societal status within consumerism is based on how much you have and of what quality your things are. This constant buying and rebuying leads to significant waste both in households and global production. In a free market capitalist economy the waste of consumerism is exacerbated by corporate greed and competition. Companies create near identical products with different names while convincing the consumer that one is better than the other. Supermarkets are filled with so many versions of the same product, often so many it can be overwhelming to choose one over another. Hours are spent wandering a store staring at products and debating what to buy, what brand loyalty to maintain, how others will think about you based on what you buy.
For this sculpture I choose to use a classic shopping cart to represent the extreme number of chain stores available to consumers. The handle of the cart is covered with branded logos for a variety of consumer products familiar to the average American consumer. A cast aluminum human skeleton grips the handle by its finger tips as it is dragged behind the cart. An hombre carbon patina is applied to blacken the feet upwards showing the length of time the figure has spent being dragged behind. This shows the extent of life that is spent shopping for goods, In America an average of 1.1 million hours is spent daily on shopping.