Invest In Your Communities Not In Their Banks

 

“Invest in your communities not in their banks… and various other slogans” took place in Swansea, South Wales over the course of 2012 and 2013. The work was a assemblage of Performance art, installation, drawings, photography, appropriation, Lamps and risograph Prints. The project aims to looks at our attitudes towards private, public and collaborative consumption, and how we think about and deal with waste as a society.

The Freecycle network is an online grassroots gift economy operated by and for local residents. Since its formation in 2003 the concept has now spread to over 85 countries, with thousands of local groups and millions of members. Through messaging boards and emails users are able to offer unwanted items online to anyone in need or capable of reusing or recycling the item. Over the course of 2012 and 2013 I used this network to ask for donations of unwanted household lamps.

My period of relentless lamp acquisition was triggered by the passing of new law in the UK. From the 1st September 2012 the act of ‘squatting’ was changed from a civil into a criminal offence, making it illegal (punishable by 6 months in prison, a £5,000 fine or both) for anyone to occupy and reside in any one of the 700,000 vacant residential properties across the United Kingdom.

Through the generosity of the users of Freecycle in Swansea I was able to slowly gather the lamps necessary for this project.The lamps were used to symbolically occupy and illuminate a vacant shop front on Swansea High Street, the windows were then painted out and appropriated protests slogans were scratched through the paint revealing the installation inside.

 

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Risograph

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Installation Images

 

Lamp Images