russell higgs

19 Jul 2007 933 views
 
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photoblog image thursday 19072007

thursday 19072007



On the HEADPHONES: "SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE" by The Smiths

it was my mum's birthday today. she would have been 74.

this isn't the post i was intending for today, but i'm having difficulty weaving all the various threads together in the broad narrative of criminality in my blood, my family, my relatives. I'm tired now, I've been up since dawn.

so instead heres a riff on the theme of one of my mum's favourite casual criminal past times........

(i'll come back and edit and tidy this post up later or in the morning. this is more like notes for now....)

beginning with an extract from "Why I Love Shoplifting from big corporations"

"Shoplifting forces us to Take Risks and Experience Life First-Hand again."

"Shoplifting is more than a way to survive in the cutthroat competition of the 'free market' and protest corporate injustices. It is also a different kind of orientation to the world and to life."

"The shoplifter makes do with an environment that has been conquered by capitalism and industry, where there is no longer a natural world from which to gather resources and everything has become private property, without accepting it or the absurd way of life it entails."

"She takes her life into her own hands by applying an ancient method to the problem of modern survival: she lives by urban hunting and gathering. In this way she is able to live much as her distant ancestors did before the world was subjugated by technology, imperialism, and the irrational demands of the "free" market; and she can find the same challenges and rewards in her work, rewards that are lost to the rest of us today."

"For her, the world is as dangerous and as exciting as it was to prehistoric humanity: every day she is in new situations, confronting new risks, living by her wits in a constantly changing environment."
(via crimethinc)

plus Liberating Stuff You Need: A Guide to Political Shoplifting



SHOPDROPPING, REVERSE SHOPLIFTING and DROPLIFTING
effectively this is the opposite of shoplifting. Here the objective is to place personal belongings in an establishment where goods are displayed for sale.

THE DROPLIFT PROJECT
Artists contribute tracks created using found sounds and samples to this compilation CD. The CD's are then droplifted into stores.

SHOPDROPPING.NET
an ongoing project in which the artist alters the packaging of canned goods and then shopdrops the items back onto grocery store shelves. The artist replaces the packaging with labels created using their own photographs.

FREE WORDS
FREE WORDS is a book which belongs to whoever finds it. The books are placed on the shelves of bookstores and libraries

BARBIE LIBERATION
The BLO returned the altered dolls to the toy store shelves, who then resold them to children who had to invent scenarios for Barbies who yelled "Vengeance is mine!" and G.I. Joes who daydreamed "Let's plan our dream wedding!"

The Barbie Disinformation Organization
the group strikes not at the dolls themselves, but at the packaging that envelops and contextualizes them. They print up stickers in a style identical to traditional Mattel packaging and slap them on Barbie products on the shelves



meanwhile.....

Ethical shoplifting

Some people protest against illegal logging by 'ethically shoplifting' goods from stores.

"you must have absolute evidence that the goods were made from unlawfully obtained materials, and you should take them straight to the nearest police station, or a police officer, to turn them in and make a formal complaint, otherwise you can be convicted for shoplifting — sections 1 to 6, Theft Act 1968, and/or section 3, Theft Act 1978 ('making off without paying')."

"in 1993 ANGIE ZELTER started an organisation called CRISP-O which stands for Citizens Recovery of Indigenous Peoples Stolen Property Organisation which encouraged the "Ethical shop-lifting" of mahogany out of shops and timber-yards and into police stations so that they could be returned to their rightful owners - the Amazonian tribal peoples. She produced a campaigning briefing pack for this work that is still in use."

"its likely that 80 per cent of the mahogany used in furniture has come from reserves. they are devastating the reserves and indigenous people have been shot dead because they tried to stop the invasion"

Plunder for profit (pdf) The UK and Brazilian mahogany trade

plus...

another example of ethical shoplifting....

"Barnes and Noble -the Wal-Mart of bookstores- is hated by most anti-materialists because they tend to come into town and put all the small independent bookstores out of business."

"In Boston, activists launched a covert campaign where they stole hundreds of books from Barnes and Noble and donated them to local schools."

"This campaign was hugely effective in getting books to schools, and Barnes and Noble hardly noticed the difference. In this case, the activists’ goals were simply to get something that the community needed from a corporation that had more than enough resources to spare."

thursday 19072007



On the HEADPHONES: "SHOPLIFTERS OF THE WORLD UNITE" by The Smiths

it was my mum's birthday today. she would have been 74.

this isn't the post i was intending for today, but i'm having difficulty weaving all the various threads together in the broad narrative of criminality in my blood, my family, my relatives. I'm tired now, I've been up since dawn.

so instead heres a riff on the theme of one of my mum's favourite casual criminal past times........

(i'll come back and edit and tidy this post up later or in the morning. this is more like notes for now....)

beginning with an extract from "Why I Love Shoplifting from big corporations"

"Shoplifting forces us to Take Risks and Experience Life First-Hand again."

"Shoplifting is more than a way to survive in the cutthroat competition of the 'free market' and protest corporate injustices. It is also a different kind of orientation to the world and to life."

"The shoplifter makes do with an environment that has been conquered by capitalism and industry, where there is no longer a natural world from which to gather resources and everything has become private property, without accepting it or the absurd way of life it entails."

"She takes her life into her own hands by applying an ancient method to the problem of modern survival: she lives by urban hunting and gathering. In this way she is able to live much as her distant ancestors did before the world was subjugated by technology, imperialism, and the irrational demands of the "free" market; and she can find the same challenges and rewards in her work, rewards that are lost to the rest of us today."

"For her, the world is as dangerous and as exciting as it was to prehistoric humanity: every day she is in new situations, confronting new risks, living by her wits in a constantly changing environment."
(via crimethinc)

plus Liberating Stuff You Need: A Guide to Political Shoplifting



SHOPDROPPING, REVERSE SHOPLIFTING and DROPLIFTING
effectively this is the opposite of shoplifting. Here the objective is to place personal belongings in an establishment where goods are displayed for sale.

THE DROPLIFT PROJECT
Artists contribute tracks created using found sounds and samples to this compilation CD. The CD's are then droplifted into stores.

SHOPDROPPING.NET
an ongoing project in which the artist alters the packaging of canned goods and then shopdrops the items back onto grocery store shelves. The artist replaces the packaging with labels created using their own photographs.

FREE WORDS
FREE WORDS is a book which belongs to whoever finds it. The books are placed on the shelves of bookstores and libraries

BARBIE LIBERATION
The BLO returned the altered dolls to the toy store shelves, who then resold them to children who had to invent scenarios for Barbies who yelled "Vengeance is mine!" and G.I. Joes who daydreamed "Let's plan our dream wedding!"

The Barbie Disinformation Organization
the group strikes not at the dolls themselves, but at the packaging that envelops and contextualizes them. They print up stickers in a style identical to traditional Mattel packaging and slap them on Barbie products on the shelves



meanwhile.....

Ethical shoplifting

Some people protest against illegal logging by 'ethically shoplifting' goods from stores.

"you must have absolute evidence that the goods were made from unlawfully obtained materials, and you should take them straight to the nearest police station, or a police officer, to turn them in and make a formal complaint, otherwise you can be convicted for shoplifting — sections 1 to 6, Theft Act 1968, and/or section 3, Theft Act 1978 ('making off without paying')."

"in 1993 ANGIE ZELTER started an organisation called CRISP-O which stands for Citizens Recovery of Indigenous Peoples Stolen Property Organisation which encouraged the "Ethical shop-lifting" of mahogany out of shops and timber-yards and into police stations so that they could be returned to their rightful owners - the Amazonian tribal peoples. She produced a campaigning briefing pack for this work that is still in use."

"its likely that 80 per cent of the mahogany used in furniture has come from reserves. they are devastating the reserves and indigenous people have been shot dead because they tried to stop the invasion"

Plunder for profit (pdf) The UK and Brazilian mahogany trade

plus...

another example of ethical shoplifting....

"Barnes and Noble -the Wal-Mart of bookstores- is hated by most anti-materialists because they tend to come into town and put all the small independent bookstores out of business."

"In Boston, activists launched a covert campaign where they stole hundreds of books from Barnes and Noble and donated them to local schools."

"This campaign was hugely effective in getting books to schools, and Barnes and Noble hardly noticed the difference. In this case, the activists’ goals were simply to get something that the community needed from a corporation that had more than enough resources to spare."

comments (4)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 20 Jul 2007, 04:50
Hahaha!
On reading this post, Russell, I laughed so much I nearly choked on a salted peanut [from a pack purchased legally in a convenience store...but, who knows, possibly grown, processed and packed by bonded labourers in southern China.]

I have never lifted anything from a shop. I have, however, seen others do it...funny how it sems the target items are things like jewellery, CD's, pens, none of which have anything directly to do to the ancient practice of "hunting and gathering" which was about getting food in bellies.

I love your innovative back-drop; it says "My Mum was/is important to me!".
russell higgs: well of course it is sensible to steal things that are guaranteed to raise some fast cash, in order to then get food in bellies.
  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 20 Jul 2007, 11:25
Yeh...could be that I suppose, or perhaps:
* ....fast cash in order to get needle in arm, or
* just a thrill of lifting stuff (I know a gal who has stolen lots of jewellery, which now just sits in original wrappings in a drawer), or even
* as a form of protest against the establishment.

Whatever the motives....I enjoyed your compilation, which got me laughing, and then singing "Gotta pick a pocket or two" from the musical of Oliver Twist.
russell higgs: I have no idea what it is like to actually experience being in the grip of an addiction to a drug, but certainly much of my brother's thieving would have been to help finance his heroin habit.

Though of course its important to mention that its not only poor people and thieves who are hooked on needles etc. Plenty of professional people and the idle-wealthy are supporting life long drug addictions, its just that they can afford their habits AND they can get on with maintaining their regular respectable lives simultaneously.

and meanwhile there are people like myself.......

As i've previously mentioned, in connection with my band in the 80s, I used to shoplift electrical goods and such like and give them away to the front rows of our audiences.

Come to think of it, I walked out of woolworths with one of their duvets once. I was good.
is it noticeable that my mum is wearing headphones in that image too?
  • miri
  • 21 Jul 2007, 08:11
hardly noticed

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