Kate Jeon Design
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Public Desires

 

Public Desires

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Fall 2017
Software: Adobe Illustrator

An Amazon wish list is a curation of someone’s personal desires made public for anyone on the web. These wish lists are like shopping carts—anyone can create a “wish list” and add products from Amazon’s website that they would like to receive as gifts from family and friends. The lists vary from person to person, and the viewer is often able to guess the individual’s age, interests, hobbies, or gender expressions, among others.

At the top of each of these 20 lists, the wish list titles are displayed with the description that each person included with their list. Typos are intentional—the text was transcribed exactly as they appear online. Each person’s photo, name, birthday, and location are also included. The 1,052 items included in the lists are stripped of their information and displayed only as photos; the products displayed at the top are of highest priority for each individual, filtered by the “sort by priority (high to low)” feature on Amazon’s site. The number of items they added to their list determines the length of the paper, and no items were left out.

This project aims to explore mass consumerism and the availability of personal information on the Internet. I do not know any of these strangers, yet I feel oddly close to them after viewing every item in their wish list. Through their descriptions and items, I learned a lot about these individuals and have questioned whether these items are what the individuals actually want, or what they want others to think they want. One person in particular chose to include their address publicly in their description, while another offered Skype sessions in return for purchases. Many lists still include items added years and years ago, while others still include items no longer offered on Amazon’s site.

 
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