Carson Davis Brown Disrupts Big Box Stores With Colorful Totems Of Products

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Artist Carson Davis Brown wants to disrupt the big box stores (think Walmart or Target), or “places of mass” as he calls them. Not by making a lot of noise or leaving the aisles in total disarray, but by creating site-specific installations titled Mass that feature carefully-selected and thoughtfully-arranged products. He’ll pick one color and group those objects into totem-like structures that line the shelves, create an island in the shoe aisle, or block an important door. They form visually-pleasing works of art that are documented via photographs.

It’s no surprise that these installations were made without the permission of the store; Brown takes things from all around and somehow arranges the displays without getting stopped by staff. They are then left until they are inevitably disassembled.

There’s an inherent beauty of these works, but a guilty pleasure that comes from enjoying them. Brown’s disruptions highlight just how massive these warehouse-type stores really are – just look at the range of products. This “convenience” has put many “mom and pop” shops out of business. So, these works are a small way of fighting back. But, at the same time, having to disassemble these displays must be done by the lowest level, least-well paid employees – the sales staff.

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  • MR

    I can see these works being appropriated by the stores themselves to highlight their product offerings in print ads, commercials or hip window displays. (Do stores still do window displays?)