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Obsessive Consumption: Kate Bingaman-Burt 

Wednesday, Dec 5 2007
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This is famously the season when we buy things nobody really needs. But exhaustive spending isn't limited to the holidays. Artist Kate Bingaman-Burt attempts to measure shopping madness through art. For 28 months, she photographed every item she bought, including groceries, snacks, books, and the camera film she used for the project. Then she started sketching the items in a cartoony style and posting them to her blog, "What Did You Buy Today?" (www.obsessiveconsumption.typepad.com). As her credit card debt mounted to $23,000, she added large-scale drawings of her monthly statements. Now, Bingaman-Burt has brought the project full circle: She sells zines, illustrations, big stuffed dollar signs, and pillows decorated with credit-card logos. The proceeds, of course, go to paying off her debt. In documenting one woman's precarious relationship with material goods, "Obsessive Consumption" implicates our mercenary impulse while simultaneously fanning its flames. This month, Bingaman-Burt shows at Rare Device, the Brooklyn-based indie-designer housewares shop that opened a San Francisco store in October. The place is full of items you'll be tempted to charge to your credit card.

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Traci Vogel

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