Shopdroplifting: Where "droplifting" left off, "shopdropping" is taking over. Just as audio collage artists a few years back "reverse-shoplifted" their CDs into the bins at Sam Goodys and Best Buys across the continent, now artist Ryan Watkins-Hughes is replacing labels on canned foods at grocery stores with those featuring his own photography. Whereas droplifters had no bar codes (which forced stockers on inventory day to apply codes or clerks to arbitrarily assign prices at checkout), Watkins-Hughes leaves the barcode intact so the price can be read. An interesting take on traditional art distribution channels. The artist is looking for others to submit work to be featured on cans. Click here for details.

(Via We Make Money Not Art.)


Anonymous said...

Droplifting seems like a more compelling project, as it forces a challenge to the system of distribution: without a barcode, the sellers must make a decision about what price to assign a CD (should someone want to buy one) or how to integrate it into the store's stock. The labels-on-soupcans idea seems somewhat futile. Shelf stockers will immediately see the fake labels and peel them off, no harm done. The intended life of these cans is, I suspect, not the store shelves but the safe environs of the gallery. That safety takes away the real urgency that was there with the Droplifters (who, by the way, couldn't get their work released by major labels out of fear of litigation over their sampling of copyrighted clips).


Anonymous said...

I've actually had incidents where shelf stockers move the cans around and "restock" them based on the barcodes. Many of the store clerks and employees could care less about what they are selling and frequently don't notice the cans for weeks.

I agree that the Droplift project is a compelling project , but I think my work simply challenges different aspects of the "system of distribution"