Many of us live in consumption economies unlike any in human history.   Consuming is a daily chore.  Acquiring is easier than ever.

What do you have?  How much of it do you need?  Do you have things that you don’t want?  How do you manage the stuff that enters your home?  Does it go?  Or does it stay?  Do you dispose of the disposable and semi-disposable goods?  Or do you try to recycle them, even if only within the boundaries of your home?  How do the shelves and drawers, the nooks and crannies of your living space, obscure our answers to these questions?  What would it look like if we had to look at it all, all at once?

Chinese artist Song Dong convinced his mother to allow him to display every item of her home as an art exhibit (article here).  She had lived in the same house for nearly 60 years.  He arranged her belongings, in a museum, around a dismantled piece of the house.  The result raises questions about consumption, economy, and the things in our lives.


Lisa Wade is a professor of sociology at Occidental College. You can follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.