I came across this website in 2003 when I was living in Lincoln, NE. Kate, the artist, was a grad student and UNL...and I loved this site so much that I actually went to her office on campus to talk with her, but she wasn't there, so I left a note on her door. (Kristin...did you go with me?). Years later, I had tried to find her site again, but couldn't.
Yesterday, I happened across a post on Happy Mundane, and there is was! I was happy. Here is a summary of what "Obsessive Consumption" is:
Obsessive Consumption was created by Kate Bingaman to showcase her love/hate relationship with money, shopping, branding, credit cards, celebrity, advertising and marketing. The work is inspired by the ever ubiquitous, generic, delicate, sometimes stomachache inducing credit card statement, craft as activism, and general consumerism. She created Obsessive Consumption in 2002 when she decided that she was going to not only document all of her purchases, but to also create a brand out of the process to package and promote. obsessiveconsumption.com was launched in early 2003 to bring her documentation to a larger audience. She documented all of her purchases for 28 months. The documentation started on January 22nd, 2002 and ended on April 22nd, 2004. She is currently hand drawing all of her credit card statements until they are paid off and also spends her time consuming, documenting and making. Kate is a 28 year old Assistant Professor of Graphic Design at Mississippi State University.
I completely relate to her love/hate relationship with consumerism. I hate it, and yet I am strangely drawn to those things I hate. Specifically, The Gap, The Mall, Starbucks, etc. When we are on a cash budget, it's much easier to resist...and tracking every single purchase, no matter how small is a huge eye opener. I have noticed a predictable connection between my TV watching and mindless consumption. Luckily, when we move, the cable goes bye bye. Bittersweet. I love me some HGTV and TLC. Anyway...check out her site, it's slightly addictive. The thrift store photo installation is fun. I just have to love her...she's a graphic design professor and that was my major in college. Her quirky design sense is fabulous.