LINDA RAMPELL: THE SHOPMODERN CONDITION
What is the meaning of life today? There are several meanings, and one of them you cannot escape: You are now living in the shopmodern condition.
Forget art history. Remember image shopping. The only -ism after postmodernism is consumerism. Aesthetics and economics have merged into aesthetonomics. Being is becoming, existence is exchange, and design has become the designed – who are you?
Google yourself up! The Internet has become the shopwindow to the world. You are designed for consumption.
Consumption of design is no longer a simple question of making purchases and then consuming goods such as cars, clothes or butter knives. Consumption is to become consumed by images. Even identities are consumed. It is no longer design that is produced to be used, but bodies (heads included) and behaviors that are designed to consume the image of self-improvements in an image-culture where being only exists as becoming. Becoming what? An identity?
Hardly. The Deleuzeian “dividuals,” split individuals, has become pluriduals, squared by offers and multiplied by desire: schizobranded are consuming identity and designing their lives in the apparent belief they are pursuing self-interest. The exploitation is hence not one-sided; it meets with demand inside Homo Capitalistes who does business via the effort of investing in identities.
Designdarwinism™ is in charge – a belief in constant improvements for oneself and one’s life, through consumption. Even the dreams are designed and invade human lives undiscerned.
Anxieties about becoming outclassed and deported to the low-status ghetto of brand culture have made consumption a life-and-death struggle.
The Shopmodern Condition offers a critical panorama of contemporary design capitalism