Uncommon Goods

Global Dimensions of the Readymade

Jaimey Hamilton Faris

Uncommon Goods

Jaimey Hamilton Faris

Distributed for Intellect Ltd

221 pages | 30 halftones | 7 x 9 | © 2013
Paper $23.00 ISBN: 9781841505725 Published October 2013 Not for sale in the United Kingdom or Europe


Since Marcel Duchamp created his “readymades” a century ago—most famously christening a urinal as a fountain— the practice of incorporating commodity objects into art has become ever more pervasive. Uncommon Goods traces one particularly important aspect of that progression: the shift in artistic concern toward the hidden ethical dimensions of global commerce. Jaimey Hamilton Faris discusses the work of, among many others, Ai Weiwei, Cory Arcangel, Thomas Hirschhorn, and Santiago Sierra, reading their artistic explorations as overlapping with debates about how common goods hold us and our world in common. The use of readymade now registers concerns about international migrant labor, outsourced manufacturing, access to natural resources, intellectual copyright, and the commoditization of virtual space.

In each chapter, Hamilton Faris introduces artists who exemplify the focus of readymade aesthetics on aspects of global commodity culture, including consumption, marketing, bureaucracy, labor, and community. She explores how materially intensive, “uncommon” aesthetic situations can offer moments to meditate on the kinds of objects, experiences, and values we ostensibly share in the age of globalization. The resulting volume will be an important contribution to scholarship on readymade art as well as to the study of materiality, embodiment, and globalization.




Introduction:  Materializing the Commodity Situation, or Toward the Affectual Readymade

Chapter 1:  Of Kula Rings and Commodity Chains

Chapter 2:  Common Goods

Chapter 3:  Apparel

Chapter 4:  Digital Media

Chapter 5:  Labor and Services

Chapter 6:  Land and Natural Resources



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