Buy Nothing Day
is a halt from converting the earth into a junkspace, whilst eyeing for spare planets to exploit. Unravelling our own biosphere on Earth and replacing it with artifacts sprawling over the globe: human biomes. The anthropocene, a geological age of our own making might engineer us out of a place hospitable to life - as we know it. The ecological destruction and the mass consumption of Homo consumes is threatening the survival of all humans and life. Meanwhile other species are being pushed off the planet, as 'we' already consume beyond the capacity of this planet. The externalities are generously socialised for all to come.
Homo consumens' habitat
The corner store is eaten by shopping streets, they are in turn swallowed by 'towns', shopping towns are gobbled up by malls. The storage space in Mc Mansions' Bland-burbia is never enough. The combustion vehicles bloat in size to transport the cargo. Mega-cities burst at the seams. "The world in which we were trapped is in fact a shopping mall..." The privatised artificial buyo-sphere controls 'appropriate behaviour' via CCTV, 'advertising' (unsolicited messaging), security personnel and urban 'design'. Space for citizens and human beings shrinks rapidly. Niches get occupied by commercialised 'recreational activities'. "In the end, there will be little else for us to do but shop".
"If space-junk is the human debris that litters the universe, junk-space is the residue (hu) mankind leaves on the planet’ The virus ascribed to junkspace is in fact the virus of shopping itself; which, like Disneyfication, gradually spreads like a toxic moss across the known universe. "
'Shop till you drop' - Having or living?
Having outsourced self-management and creativity to infotainment and traditional culture, it's an easy ride. Just follow the 'must have', 'must do', 'must go', 'must eat' etc track like a zombie. Benchmark 'identity' via consumption patterns. Become an array of designer labels and body hacks. Jump start the casino machinery. The pathological addiction to shopping, is usually accompanied by other forms of addictive consumption.
Wasting one's life, 'killing time' leaves a void amongst all the stuff. "There is a certain sickness in this drive for ever-increasing consumption and the danger is that, by being filled with a need for consumption, the person does not really solve the problem of inner passivity, of inner vacuity, of anxiety, of being depressed -- because life in some way doesn't make sense."
Fredric Jameson, Future City, New Left Review 21, May-June 2003
Rem Koolhaas, Junkspace, OMA
Erich Fromm , On Being Human- Homo Consumens, 1997
The photographic art of Chris Jordan depicts Grand Canyons of our rubbish on this planet.
Buy Nothing Day, UK
Video, Manufactured Landscapes
Video, Piggy consumes the earth
Affluenza and downshifting in Australia, Wikipedia
The Story of STUFF, Free Range Studios, a teaser: