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If disposing of a commodity removes its arbitrary ‘value,’ then what is left? Discarded copies, like the ubiquitous, crumpled Dunkin' bag, retaining the gestures of the user, transform into originals and an opportunity to glean the shared, iterative nature of consumer culture. In the way that Marx saw commodities as lacking connection with “the value-relation of the products of labour,” today’s detritus exposes our systems of assigned value. Perhaps we can reverse commodity fetishism by elevating the ‘valueless’ through the lens of an investigation? This work is the result of a process of documenting the repeated appearance of various species of trash, removing context and sometimes part of the object, to isolate patterns and forms, like runes, as points of departure for the often-missed, shared dimension of contemporary life. This collection of samples itself becomes a new context within which we can inch toward the universal.

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Available for pickup

photography | digital imaging


19.00 x 13.00 x 1.00 in | 48.26 x 33.02 x 2.54 cm

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Charles Cohen Studio


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Charles Cohen Studio

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