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Posts Tagged ‘shopdropping’

Who said environmental activism has to be serious? I just got this mail from Ryan Watkins-Hughes:

I just stumbled across your idea for Greendropping. Very clever. Below is information about an upcoming shopdropping project I’m doing. Please feel free to pass along to people you think would be interested. Thanks.

RWH
http://www.shopdropping.net
http://www.watkinshughes.com

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SHOPDROPPING.NET is now calling on artists, designers, media makers, and creative folks to purchase greeting cards and alter them in any way they see fit. Any form of commercial card, from wedding to graduation to birthday to bereavement, is eligible. But clever and witty will be given preference over easy and distasteful.

Please submit JPEG reproductions of the altered greeting cards to submissions@shopdropping.net with GREETINGS as the subject line.

All files must be sized to 1024 x 768 at 72 dpi. Each altered card must include the text “www.shopdropping.net” somewhere in the new design. It can be discreet, on the back of the card, and unobtrusive but it must be present.When submitting the cover and inside of the same card please indicate this clearly in the file titles (for example “cover.jpg”, “page2.jpg”).

The deadline for submissions is April 1st 2008.

Once all of the digital reproductions have been submitted, selected artists will be given the address of a fellow participant to swap cards with. The cards will then be shopdropped back into circulation and the digital reproductions will be featured on SHOPDROPPING.NET. Please do not submit digital files if you do not intend to follow through with the act of shopdropping a fellow participant’s work. The digital reproductions are a means to select and document the artworks, but do not replace the act of shopdropping the originals into unsuspecting stores.

I am on my way to the stationary store . . . Will you join me? Of course my card is going to have some green subversive message embedded into it. I urge you to do the same.

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First, was Nadine‘s comment a few weeks ago:

oh, and blog away especially outside of the green media, seep slowly into the reticent consumer driven world.

followed by my discovery of Ryan Watkins-Hughes, and his ‘shopdropping‘ practice:

‘SHOPDROP: To covertly place merchandise on display in a store. A form of “culture jamming” s. reverse shoplift, droplift.

and then Kyle‘s powerful image:

‘The cup of change is being filled drop by drop in the dark. We hear each drop, and we are impatient because we hear the drops but don’t see how full the cup is. At some point it will overflow.’

Three seeds that did not go to waste. Some recent discussions on La Marguerite, have convinced me of the value of a blogging initiative aimed at strategically chosen populations outside of the green blogosphere. The three seeds have germinated and given rise to ‘The Green Drop Project‘.

‘To ‘greendrop’: to ‘drop’ relevant ‘green’ comments in mainstream, non green blogs, from a predetermined list of targeted blogs. The blogs will be highly trafficked blogs in areas determined to be most amenable to climate fight conversion. The initial focus will be on parenting, religious, and business blogs.’

Tomorrow, I will start greendropping in parenting blogs, and reporting daily on my blogging expeditions. The following is a list of all the parenting blogs with a Technorati authority of 500 or higher, that I will be visiting:

http://www.5minutesformom.com/
http://scribbit.blogspot.com/
http://bitchphd.blogspot.com/
http://www.parenthacks.com/
http://fussy.org/
http://www.designmom.com/
http://www.emomsathome.com/blog/
http://eddiejohn66.blogspot.com/

I invite you to join me and report on your expeditions. When you do, may I suggest that you mention the Green Drop Project, in addition to your name and blog URL? This way, we will be able to track the project as it spreads.

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Ever since I read the New York Times article on Anarchists in the Toy Aisles? Stores Offer Unwitting Stage, my mind has been percolating with subversive ideas. Nothing concrete yet. Give me a little more time.

I am referring to the practice of ‘shopdropping‘, defined by its originator, the artist Ryan Watkins-Hughes, as:

SHOPDROP: To covertly place merchandise on display in a store. A form of “culture jamming” s. reverse shoplift, droplift.

SHOPDROPPING is an ongoing project in which I alter the packaging of canned goods and then shopdrop the items back onto grocery store shelves. I replace the packaging with labels created using my photographs. The shopdropped works act as a series of art objects that people can purchase from the grocery store. Because the barcodes and price tags are left intact purchasing the cans before they are discovered and removed is possible. In one instance the shopdropped cans were even restocked to a new aisle based on the barcode information.

SHOPDROPPING strives to take back a share of the visual space we encounter on daily basis. Similar to the way street art stakes a claim to public space for self expression, my shopdropping project subverts commercial space for artistic use in an attempt to disrupt the mundane commercial process with a purely artistic moment. The photographs act as a visual journal of my travels over the past few years. Displayed in nonlinear combinations the images remix the traditional narrative of the passing of time. The vibrant individuality of each image is a stark contrast to the repetitive, functional, package design that is replaced. Shopdropping gives voice to the pervasive disillusionment from our increasingly commercial society. A voice that is, paradoxically, made possible only by commercial technological advancements.’

I got a real kick out of this video by Californian artist Packard Gennings, another shopdropper enthusiast:

Ryan, Packard, and all the folks at the Anti-Advertising Agency, I think you are doing some awesome work. Is it legal? Scott Wolfson, a spokesman for the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission, said in the New York Times article, ‘he was not sure if shopdropping was illegal but that some forms of it could raise safety concerns because the items left on store shelves might not abide by labeling requirements and federal safety standards.’

Legal or not, count me as your definite fan, and soon to be active member of your collective. I am thinking T-Shirts, stickers on shopping carts and women’s clothes labels, pamphlets, with funny messages about consumption, carbon emissions, global warming, daily green actions, etc.

Any of you interested in joining, please drop me a note.

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