you are entering mankind mag. love it.
behind the [cover]
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// COVER ARTIST GEMMA CORRELL GIVES MANKIND MAG READERS THE SCOOP
Once I’d got it clear in my head that this issue’s theme was not an old-fashioned term for tuberculosis, I started thinking about the word ‘consumption’ and what it means to me. I am one of those people who says “Oh, I never really buy much”. But then I started to make a note of the things I bought. You’ll notice that coffee cups feature heavily- that’s my one-a-day Starbucks habit. I rarely buy anything ‘big’ but the little things add up: a new pair of gloves here, a magazine or two there. I do consume a lot. Plus, right now it’s the run-up to Christmas. The city in which I live is packed with frenzied shoppers buying gifts. Shopping for other people is great and makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, but it drives me crazy that (some) people are just buying for the sake of it, shopping for pointless presents that will most likely get thrown away by their recipients. If you can’t think of what to buy someone, make them something! Or donate money to charity!! That, to me, is the worst thing about consumption: the waste that is it’s by-product. Lecture over.
Gemma Correll was born in England in 1984. As a child she spent most of her time drawing, crafting, and and making her own comics, and wearing My Little Pony rollerskates. 24 years later, she’s still drawing, making collages and producing comics but, sadly, the rollerskates no longer fit. Gemma graduated from the Norwich school of Art and Design, UK, in 2006 with a BA (honors) degree in Graphic Design, specializing in Illustration. She now works in Norwich as a freelance illustrator and has produced work for clients including John Brown publishing and Virgin holidays. She also produces her own zines and makes products, including handmade plush toys, badges and mugs, which she sells in stores and at craft fairs.
table of [contents]
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// MANKIND MAG//ISSUE 06/DECEMBER 2008
AILEEN SON/page 10
OBSESSIVE CONSUMPTION/page 20
CHEMICAL WORLD/page 27 TARA DONOVAN/page 25
ARTISTS SPEAK/page 15
ALEXANDRA HEDBERG/page 12
a note from your [editor]
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// THANK YOU FOR A WONDERFUL SIX MONTHS!
Photo Credit: Daniel Lobo I sort of can’t believe Mankind Mag is in its sixth issue. Was it not just yesterday we released The First Issue Ever? Regardless, I have quite a few people to thank. Sponsors, contributors, my barista--- thank you. And looking back, nothing has really changed. I still have virtually no idea what I’m doing, and I still forget to adjust the CMYK each time I publish. So yes, this is why black is sometimes not black and white is sometimes not white. Just part of Mankind Mag’s charm, I suppose. Anyway--- thank you from the bottom of my heart. And I am hoping and praying that you’ll love this sixth issue as much as I do [don’t I say this in every letter?]. Consumption is a topic that is quite close to my heart, as I’m sure the current economy has momentarily placed it quite adjacent to yours, as well. And well, that’s all I’m going to say here. There’s much too much to be said throughout the magazine and the artists you’ll hear from are much more eloquent than I [eg: Kate Bingaman-Burt, Alexandra Hedberg and Rebecca Horwood, to name a few]. I will, however, leave you with this challenge from Anna Lappe: “Every time you spend money, you are casting a vote for the kind of world you want.” Have you checked your vote lately? Love to you, Erin E. Loechner, Publisher Mankind Mag
in the [news] ALL THE NEWS THAT’S FIT TO CONSUME, THAT IS.
According to CNN.com, the cardboard box was recently inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame, sandwiched between skateboards and the stick. Curators praised its all-purpose, no-cost, recreational qualities, noting its ability to serve either as raw material or an appendage transformed in myriad ways by a child's creativity. Finally, analysts are catching wind of what my dog has been feeling for years. "This toy is so fantastic that it's not just for humans anymore. You can find otters, chimps and dogs -especially dogs -- playing with it." said Christopher Bensch, the museum's curator of collections. Remind me again--- why are we standing in lines for Elmo and Barbie this year?
image credit Boxhead by David Sorley
From NYTimes-As it turns out, Americans waste an astounding amount of food — an estimated 27 percent of the food available for consumption, according to a government study — and it happens at the supermarket, in restaurants and cafeterias and in your very own kitchen. It works out to about a pound of food every day for every American.
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Grocery stores discard products because of spoilage or minor cosmetic blemishes. Restaurants throw away what they don’t use. And consumers toss out everything from bananas that have turned brown to last week’s Chinese leftovers. In 1997, in one of the few studies of food waste, the Department of Agriculture estimated that two years before, 96.4 billion pounds of the 356 billion pounds of edible food in the United States was never eaten. Fresh produce, milk, grain products and sweeteners made up twothirds of the waste. An update is under way. The study didn’t account for the explosion of ready-to-eat foods now available at supermarkets, from rotisserie chickens to sandwiches and soups. What do you think happens to that potato salad and meatloaf at the end of the day? A more recent study by the Environmental Protection Agency estimated that Americans generate roughly 30 million tons of food waste each year, which is about 12 percent of the total waste stream. All but about 2 percent of that food waste ends up in landfills; by comparison, 62 percent of yard waste is composted.
Did you know? Australians are still wasting $6 billion of food each year - enough to feed the entire nation for three weeks. Current research suggests the majority of food thrown away is fresh fruit and vegetables. Meat, fish, bread, dairy produce, rice and pasta are all in the ‘top’ most wasted foods. The two main reasons for food wastage is that people ‘cook or prepare too much’ or ‘don’t use food before its use-by date’. A 2005 study by The Australia Institute estimated that food waste was costing Australians $5.3 billion per year. The Australian 2006 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory report stated methane emissions from solid waste disposal on land were equivalent to 13.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. According to CSIRO data, dumping a kilogram of beef wastes the 50,000 litres of water it took to produce that meat; throwing out a kilogram of white rice will waste 2,385 litres and wasting a kilogram of potatoes costs 500 litres.
But yes--- there is good news.
Follow any of the below resources and trust us--- you’ll be just fine in the consumerism department: storyofstuff.com thehungersite.com fareshare.net.au globalissues.org stwr.org wiserearth.org enough.org.uk verdant.net anticonsumerism.blogspot.com sustainableenterprises.com adbusters.org freegan.info
let it [flow]
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// FLOWMARKET TACKLES THE FINE ART OF CONSUMPTION
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// FLOWmarket is a shop designed to inspire consumers to think, live and consume more holistic. The core of FLOWmarket is the scarcity goods collection where present imbalances from the 3 FLOW dimensions (individual, collective and environmental flow) have been addressed and transformed into physical products. Scarcity goods products in the shape of aesthetically designed (empty) packaging with humorous and thought-awakening prints that consumers can buy in the venues/shops or via the online shop. Further on FLOWmarket collaborate with designers and artists around the globe that fits with our mindset, humour and aesthetics.
IMAGE CREDIT: PAOLA ZAKIMI
In the following pages, youâ€™ll hear from artists and designers from all over the globe, dishing about what they purchase, how much they spend and why consumerism is such an issue. Stay tuned--- and beware. Inspiration is bound to hit any moment...
welcome to [consumption]
did you [know]?
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// PHOTO CREDIT: AILEEN SON
it is being estimated that in 2010, consumers will be introduced to approximately 500 million new products per year.
t h e we st er n po pulation comprises only 20% of the total population but consumes approximately 80% of the worldâ€™s resources.
only 0.6% of the approximate 5,000 billion plastic bags that factories around the world produced in 2002 were recycled.
three generations; grandmother, mother and daughter have at least eighteen manmade chemicals in their bodies.
you receive at least 2,000 inputs from commercials every day in any given public space.
worldwide--- more than one billion adults are overweight, and at least three hundred million of them are obese.
eating disorders affect seventy million individuals worldwide. twelve million us citizens are addicts of gambling.
in 2001, the danes were prescribed more than fifty-four million daily doses of anti-depressants.
to the farmer.
in hungary and estonia, people spend fifty percent of their free time watching television.
are we listening?
free [lunch] ARTIST ALEXANDRA HEDBERG EXPLORES CONSUMPTION: IS LUNCH EVER TRULY FREE?
My work explores the identity of female stereotypes within contemporary urban culture. It is about living today - lifestyle and consumption, shiny happy surfaces and hidden emptiness. I base most of my work on advertising and mass media imagery. Other series of mine emanate from popular culture, like the superhero myth. The series of paintings “free lunch” is about how we live life without after thought. If something seems too good to be true – it is. Free lunch? Doesn’t exist! Media is selling us lifestyles and everything is about consuming –in order to make the world turn. Brands are always present and their impact is greater than ever. Behind it all there is loneliness. In some ways, it is like H C Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. No one dares to stop smiling and praising - and admit/see how it really is. We keep the mask on and pretend that we are happy. This is what free lunch is about. Smiles are almost hysterical. But sometimes it is subtler: Alice (in Wonderland) is lost in a world that doesn’t make sense to her, meeting weird creatures with strange habits and behaviours. If it says eat me – she eats – if it says drink me - she drinks. In my painting, she is contemplating the Puma – a little animal that gets a different sense when you know what it stands for--- that it is a logo. In some ways, Alice is my alter ego.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// on this page: Alice, watercolour, coffee and acryclics on paper on alternate page: I’m Lovin’ It, watercolour and acryclics on paper She Sells Seashells by the Seashore, watercolour and acryclics on paper
IMAGE CREDIT: OKAT
Around late November last year, I stepped into a Big Box retailer looking to buy some much needed batteries for my daughter's toy. Of course, being the holiday time of year, it was flooded with people. Everyone was in this crazy frenzy, buying this and buying that, all with no hesitation or thought. I was overwhelmed with this feeling that so many of these people were buying to feel better, to feel less guilty about something, to feel saved -- turning to shopping as a form of salvation. The same feelings one might have after stepping out of confession. I jotted the words "consumption is not a religion" in my sketchbook and left it at that. Months later I was invited to showcase my work with other artists in a very random and casual exhibition. Having no time to really dedicate to it, I quickly ripped out about 50 pages from my sketchbook and titled the set “I daydream in doodles.” On the night of the show, the piece that got me the most feedback was the simple scribble of the words (consumption is not a religion) in a corner of a page amongst all the other drawings. I was shocked at how many people not only got "it,” but wanted it in some form of expression that they can share with others. Months later, I turned it into a t-shirt and small poster, and I still have a few for sale.
artists [speak] MANKIND ASKED ITS RESIDENT ARTISTS TO SHOWCASE THEIR CONSUMERIST THOUGHTS. HERE’S WHAT WE RECEIVED!
CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
In today's changing and highly adaptive world, it is quite evident that consumers are becoming increasingly more concerned about the environment reflected in what they buy and where they buy it. There is a growing trend for companies offering eco-friendly products and services. The future of consumerism will, without a doubt, see these companies, whose goods have no negative effect on the environment whatsoever, become the norm. We as consumers have a responsibility to influence how the products we buy are made, what they are made from and how they reach us. Responsible consumerism also means that where possible we choose the option that has no unnecessary packaging; we reuse packaging, such as food bags and containers; and we make sure that the packaging we do take away is recyclable and then actually recycled. No piece of packaging wants to be become part of a landfill or end up floating forever in the world's oceans. The happiest packaging gets recycled over and over again, making a positive impact on the environment rather than a negative one. In an Eco world, we don't need to focus on sacrifice. We need to focus on providing a higher quality of life using the lowest amount of raw materials; we need to change the way we produce goods and the way we consume them. -REBECCA HORWOOD
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// on this page: “Happy Packaging” print by Rebecca Horwood
In NYC you can definitely feel the economy and its bipolar attitude. Everyone seemed so excited for the election, and now that all is said and done, everyone has gone back to his/her crooked gloomy old ways of life. Anger seems to rule all. One of my good friends and classmate said people are drinking a lot more or so it seems (he is a waiter).
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// On the notion of art and design, these can be exciting times to see what people come up with what they have. I went to an extraordinary exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design (MAD) "Second Lives". It is all using recycled materials to create art. Some of the pieces were so creative and thoughtful. I am excited to see what is produced/ created during these "dark ages" involving the economy. In other notes, we are approaching a holiday season, it is going to be exciting to see what people come up with if they are trying to stay out of stores (as I am). Most importantly, as much as the government wants us to spend money to improve the economy, it is times like these that put us all in check. We regress into realizing the things we need, not the things we want. Puts everything into perspective, right? KATE ZANDER
I'm not a "shopper" as such. I do buy "stuff" (& probably still too much stuff). I buy from thrift shops where possible & use waste material either purchased from thrift shops or industry waste in my crafting. I purchase clothes for myself & the kids (though this is harder) from thrift shops. I know I'm still a consumer but I don't frequent big shopping centers and chain stores. When I have to buy new then I try to support small independent businesses. I certainly don't believe that I need to have the biggest, best, newest products to be happy & fulfilled. I try to be a thoughtful consumer. Before I buy I ask... Can I survive without it? Could I get it from an Op Shop? Can I make it myself? If the answer to these questions is no - I make the purchase & try not to beat myself up over it. KIRSTEN MACAFEE
This piece illustrates how too much can sometimes be a bit confusing.. the more we have to chose from, the more insecure and indecisive it can make us.
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Consumption is central to contemporary culture. In western society, we are constantly presented with various choices of products due to advertisements, etc. that often result in us consuming more than we really need to. I guess it's easier to consume when there is so much around you to choose from. A lot of times people overconsume because they believe that it will, in some ways, bring them happiness and comfort. My spending habits vary from time to time but I do try to think about whether I really need this certain product before buying it. Since I have a weakness for all things vintage I very much enjoy visiting markets and antique shops looking for special items that no one else has. Buying second-hand and reusing something might often be better than constantly buying new products. Also, it's a good idea to clean out your closet from time to time and give things to charity shops instead of throwing them away. When going food shopping I always try to bring canvas bags for my groceries instead of buying new plastic bags every time. It's such an easy thing to do and is more environmentally friendly. DANIJELA DOBRIC
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// on this page: “Consumerism” print by Danijela Dobric
obsessive [consumption] ARTIST KATE BINGAMAN BURT DRAWS IT LIKE SHE SEES IT. OR BUYS IT, PERHAPS.
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F INK OEH T OULD O REPR E C E LY- WTTER TTION ISSURS U O I OBV HING BE ONSUMP URT HE NOT THE C GAMAN-B SENTN MS. BIN THA ! EE. . . . R G F A L L SE YOUâ€™L , Y L FUL HOPE
////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Tell us the basic premise behind 'Obsessive Consumption'? I focus on the mundane aspects of personal consumerism. I like taking a mass produced item (actual object, receipt or bill) and personalizing it through drawing it (or whatever medium I feel like working in, though right now I have been all about drawing). I like the contemplation and I also like the play. It is fun for me to reflect upon the purchase, but to also get lost in patterns, lines and the typography of the purchase. It makes the mundane a bit more special. The consumer is no longer faceless. How did you come up with the idea behind 'Obsessive Consumption?' In my early 20s I was an art director for a gift company in Omaha, Nebraska. Part of my duties, along with designing packaging and the look and feel of their products, was to attend gift shows. I was really focused on consumer trends and why people would buy what they would buy and how I could design to tap into these purchasing habits. I eventually went to graduate school to explore some of these questions more but in a more personal way. For a while (and I still am, in a way) I really wanted to know the history of the found objects and thrift store items that I was taking pictures of at the time and I was becoming frustrated because I couldn't find these answers, so I started to document all of my purchases because, at least then I would know the origins. This eventually turned into Obsessive Consumption and I started to make objects and consumable goods about my own consumerism. And did you find yourself holding back on purchases due to this project? When I first started uploading all of the photos of my purchases I kind of freaked myself out. I was taking something that was usually pretty private and making it really public. This was back in 2002, so I have had awhile to get used to it. The last time I felt any anxiety about it was when I started posting my credit card statement drawings. I was concerned about my own shame and what others would think of me, but this was also great motivation to pay them down as well. What are your thoughts on consumerism? My work raises questions and it doesn't really provide answers to universal consumption issues. I have my own opinions, but one of the elements that I enjoy about my work is that I have found that it appeals both to people who subscribe to anti-consumerist agendas and it also appeals to the tween who loves Hannah Montana. They each find elements that speak to them and I like that I can have a conversation with both. I don't want to preach, I just want people to think and have fun while they are doing it. I love hearing from people who tell me that they are so much more aware of their purchases after they have been to my site or picked up my zine...or that they look at their pack of gum differently simply because they saw a drawing that I did of my Orbit gum that I bought the other day. If this causes people to consume less or to consume more thoughtfully, then that is really pretty wonderful. Do you have any spending rules you maintain in your household? Well, my husband clifton barely buys anything and when he does, the object has been thoroughly researched and when it is purchased it really gets used. We are an interesting balance. I still have ridiculous urges to buy ridiculous things, but as far as rules go, we just try to follow our budget. That was such a boring answer. I wish I had the awesome, elaborate, aesthetically pleasing and conceptually layered in meaning rule structure* to show off, but I don't. So boring! So practical!
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// if youâ€™re obsessed with obsessive consumption, check out kateâ€™s work at obsessiveconsumption.com
consuming [minimalism] ARTIST TARA DONOVAN’S LATEST INSTALLATION CREATES MAXIMUM IMPACT.
/////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Tara Donovan has a knack for making the ordinary look anything but. By perusing her latest work, I hope you can see how simple household items can transform into beautiful art. And although you may not be a world famous artist, there’s a bit of creativity in everyone. Go get ‘em, tigers!
Tara Donovan, ACE Gallery Los Angeles Installation: styrofoam cups + hot glue
LET’S GET CHEMICAL, CHEMICAL WITH ARTIST JAMES JOYCE.
James Joyce is a London-based artist and designer. At the start of 2006, he founded his own studio One Fine Day. ‘CHEMICAL WORLD’ is his take on our consumeristic culture.
plenty more where that came from. designformankind.com
the more, the merrier. designformankind.com
mankindâ€™s daily planner A R T I S T: J E S S I C A G O N A C H A
TO DO THIS DEC:
INSIDE: Kate Bingaman-Burt of Obsessive Consumption! Be very excited. PGS 18-21
next issue: january 7th--get ready for a BIG surprise!