Consumerism and Mass Production

  • Consumerism
    One Thousand Plastic Beads
  • Plastic is versatile, easy and cheap to produce, and is probably preventing the American economy from collapsing entirely. Mass production and mass consumption are staples of our culture, and plastic is the harbinger. I’m not going to make an enemy of plastic; to put it simply, it makes life easier. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to type this artist statement. But, perhaps, we are too dependent on plastic and perhaps we are losing the ability to appreciate products that are one-of-a-kind because you can find the same thing at Target for less money.

    My piece explores and accentuates this focus on monetary value over intrinsic value in present society. Are we so obsessed on finding the next big deal that we ignore objects that are better crafted and hold more meaning? I would much prefer a wedding ring made of gold and a semi-precious stone than one of plastic. (Which they do sell, by the way.) An artisan is increasingly hard to find because of mass-production and “custom-made” is being replaced by “ready-made.” As an artist, I find this trend disturbing; it could endanger my career.

    In this piece, I’m expressing my own anxiety and cynicism toward an overwhelmingly plasticized world. It is an enlarged representation of a “diamond” ring made entirely of plastic pony beads, which were glued together by hot wax. I wanted to contrast cheap decoration and valuable tokens.