Now available in book format, “Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?” is artist Kate Bingaman-Burt’s winsomely self-conscious take on transparency and consumer culture. Beginning in 2002, in the face of growing credit card debt, Bingaman-Burt resolved to give new meaning to the term “retail therapy” by documenting her daily purchases, first with photographs and then with ink drawings.
The book chronicles three years of daily purchases, beginning on 5 February 2006. From the mundane (Tootsie Roll candies, pet food, Aleve pain reliever) to the more memorable (an iPhone, wedding bands, a dog), each image lends a permanence to the sometimes fleeting fulfillment that comes from the experience of buying something. To make her commentary—and spending patterns—an even more lasting and public record, Bingaman-Burt also includes monthly hand-copied credit card statements within the pages of the book.
Bingaman-Burt, who is an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University continues to catalog and post her Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design.”