A PARASITICAL BREED OF CONSUMERS Jeannette Petrik

Only production independent from industry can follow radically independent thought. Principles outside of economic norms can’t be reasonably applied within existing economic systems, therefore, production needs to be established outside of such structures.

Following Tino Sehgal’s thoughts on immaterial production one could conclude that ‘de-production’ or the production of immaterial objects such as dance or song can be regarded as an alternative model of production but still this practice excludes the production of things which we actually need to consume such as food.

Performative production does not only respond to the issue of overproduction and over-consumption of resources but also implies potential independence from industry and economics as the resource of ‘action’ is widely available and extremely cost effective – it’s free.

Maybe the only way to be economically and, therefore, ideologically independent – to be free – lies in both meanings of the word: ‘Free’ is free of charge and free of outside control paving way to autonomy and self-sufficiency.

Is the discipline of design profoundly linked to the Commercial? Can it exist independently from the economic Market? Can a designer work in honesty without agreeing to universally accepted ideological and political economic values? Can I be honest as a designer if I don’t identify with the ideological  majority of society? Which is my responsibility as a designer and a consumer in society?

Within this project I address a personal and subjective concern about the relevance of industry and economy in relation to design, critical practice and design. Inspired by performance-based art of the 60s and 70s and examples of contemporary art and design, my main focus lies within immaterial and situation-based production.

What is the relevance of the Commodity within society? As a designer and consumer, I see a clear tendency of the commodification of culture which radically influences our social context in content and form. From a personal perspective on the industrialization of culture, this project represents a critical quest for structural and ideological independence as an initial step towards a vision of honesty and truly human values as a basis for society.

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I conducted extensive research on the wastage of food products by distributing industries within the city of Eindhoven, the Netherlands. The amount of waste of fruit and vegetables produced weekly by an organic supermarket, shown on this image, allowed me to settle for
fruit and vegetables as a highly economic material for the project.

parasites_2_collecting processing preserving

Taking the role of a ‘parasite’, producing tools to preserve food waste from mainly free materials, the project includes a character around and by whom the project is shaped. This character collects materials to produce tools which he or she can then use to scavenge for food and other usable ‘waste’ materials often found freely in urban environments. This behaviour is facilitated by a publication, ‘The Parasite’s Cookbook’, which instructs individuals on the collection of materials, the making of tools and resourceful locations within the city of Eindhoven, where the project is based.

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Contact Jeannette at: jeannettepetrik@gmail.com

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