Small World Tees
There is an addiction cycle to cheaply made goods. We buy more and more because the price point is low enough to allow it. Instead of shopping to meet our needs, we switch focus to meet our ever growing wants. The more that we buy, the more that we have access to cheaply, the more we want, then we buy more. In this model goods maintain their usefulness for a shorter duration as they are easily and cheaply replaced by new, seemingly better goods. The majority of these cheaply made goods become fodder for landfills. In the US each person generates approximately 82 pounds of textile waste each year, From this waste around 12 pounds gets donated or recycled, leaving 70 pounds to go to the land fill.
Small World Tees is an imperfect study of the life of the most ubiquitous of these cheaply made goods, the t-shirt. The process involves cataloging donated t-shirts by zip code to create community profiles from the data contained in each garment. Each t-shirt is assessed and added to a database recording information such as where it was made, what it was made out of, color, size, and any graphics they may contain. After being assessed the donated t-shirts are re-branded, folded, packaged, and displayed. Exhibition visitors are able to take one re-branded t-shirt home with them.
The resulting inventory information is presented online at smallworldtees.com allowing visitors to view results by zip code.
Small World Tees launched during ArtPrize9 in 2017 at The City Water Building. The donated t-shirts were inventoried, folded, and packaged on-site during scheduled live performances. The t-shirts were displayed alphabetically by country of origin at the Small World Tees fReETAIL Shop. At the end of the exhibition visitors were each able to take one re-branded t-shirt home with them in exchange for their zipcode.
Small World Tees Website is Sponsored by: