Return Policy Project
I began The return policy project, which became
my thesis for my "Masters of Fine Arts" at Columbia University
in 2000. The web site is Distaurt.com.
The idea was to show to what extent we control or are controlled
by the objects we buy. Consumerism is a catch 22 situation: we think
we are free to buy the object when in fact we are enslaved by the
need (real or fake) of it. The notion of control is deeply rooted
in our consumer society and it seems to stem from the need to be
in control of our lives. We buy a product which fulfills a particular
function, and by doing so we incorporate it into our lives in such
a way that we are brought to think we can no longer live without
it. Our ability to manipulate it at will contributes to the illusion
of having shaped our lives according to our needs, and therefore
of being in control. My intention was to alter this perception.
In this way, the project consists of purchasing consumer goods –used
daily by millions of people in their immediate environments–
altering their function, and returning them to the marketplace.
In this way, I made sure that the altered product would eventually
become part of someone's environment, and slowly take control of
his/her life, however subtle this control might be. The products
had to be electronic in content, so that I could
N/A - Media: web page, pagers, microcontrollers, hi-fi, alarm clock,
microwave - 2000