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Obsessive Consumption
What Did You Buy Today?
Kate Bingaman-Burt

ISBN 9781568988900
Publication date 5/1/2010
6 x 8 inches (15.2 x 20.3 cm), Paperback
208 pages, 550 color illustrations
Rights: World; Carton qty: 20; ( 3,458 .0)

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Our daily lives are filled with consumption--$1.50 for a cup of coffee, $5.95 for a magazine, $17.99 for headphones, $1.79 for cough drops, $36.00 for a haircut. Whether bought out of necessity or indulgence, purchased alone or in a group, everything we buy has its own story to tell. We buy art supplies while feeling inspired, CDs while shopping with friends, and a new pair of jeans to give us a lift when we are feeling blue. Yet, these powerfully emotional experiences can be fleeting--quickly erased by the pull of the next "must-have" acquisition. In Obsessive Consumption, Portland-based artist Kate Bingaman-Burt holds up a mirror to her own obsession with shopping and acquisition. Faced with a mounting pile of postgraduation credit card debt, Bingaman-Burt concocted a unique artistic response to this all-too-common dilemma. She picked up a pen and began drawing her monthly credit card statements, painstakingly recreating every last ledger line and decimal point, vowing to continue serving her artistic penance until her debt was repaid. As a relief from this project--turning the idea of "retail therapy" on its ear--Bingaman-Burt began drawing one of her purchases from each day, losing herself in the items, patterns, simple lines, and typography.

Obsessive Consumption represents a selection of three years of Bingaman-Burt's delightful ink drawings of sundry items. Accompanied by witty and insightful annotations, these drawings mock her own relationship with her purchases and put a personal face on the mass-produced items of our shared experience. Readers can catch a glimpse into the life of the artist from the collection, which includes wedding bands, a dog, a moving truck, handmade items from friends, Mississippi beer, Portland pizza, and lots of pens and drawing paper to support her drawing habit. A celebration of the beauty of the everyday, Obsessive Consumption presents a microcosm of consumer culture that will appeal to everyone from a thirteen-year-old mall-dweller to a middle-aged anticonsumerism advocate.

Kate Bingaman-Burt is an assistant professor of graphic design at Portland State University. She is a founding partner of the Public Design Center. Her work has been featured in the New York Times; in numerous magazines, including Print, Adorn, Dwell, and How; and in books including Hand Job and Handmade Nation.


Editorial Reviews

The Local Paper, This That These and Those:
"Im excited to get a hold of a copy of Kate Bingaman-Burts new book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today?. This book contains a selection of drawings of things that shes purchased throughout the past 3 years. It documents a celebration of beauty in everyday things. From the illustrations, you really get a personal sense of who Kate is."

"...a colorful and surprisingly personal book that we simply can't put down. She has tapped into something that readers of all ages and incomes will appreciate and enjoy." — Emily Kropp

"Looking through this little book (itself a very appealing object), it's easy for me to feel Bingaman-Burt's joy in acquisition -- something most of us have experienced (whether we admit it or not) -- as much as her obsession with the stuff she buys, and her unease at just how much of it there proves to be. Obsessive Consumption doesn't order us around. Instead, Bingaman-Burt creates some space to assess our experiences in consumer culture, and figure out how over-consumption affects us." — Emily Gertz

Kate Bingaman-Burt Drew Everything She Bought for Three Years, Racked Fashion Blog:
"Talk about retail therapyillustrator Kate Bingaman-Burt has been drawing something she's purchased every single day since February 5, 2006. Those drawings, alongside drawings of all her credit card statements, appear in the new book Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?" — Danica Lo

The Wallflower, San Francisco Gate Blog:
"I love the premise of this book not only because of the fun illustrations (Kate also draws for the New York Times, ReadyMade, Ideo, Newsweek, and many more clients), but because it calls to attention how quickly our piles of things add up. How much DO we buy on a daily basis? If economists judge the health of the country's economy based on retail sales, should we use the same assessment for our own purchases? The book makes no judgment either way -- she simply notes her own purchasing habits." — Tina Barseghian
"I was given the book called Obsessive Consumption by Kate Bingaman-Burt and while I enjoyed the illustrations, I didnt really know what to make of it at first. Cute, I thought, but whats the point of drawing pretty much everything one buys? I started reading the intro and all of a sudden the book took another another meaning: G and I started talking about how we were raised when it comes to shopping. We were saying how glad we are that we are not shoppers. After a few minutes we looked at each other and said: Wait a second, we ARE shoppers, we shop ONLINE. We just dont go into stores! Oops!Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?, by Kate Bingaman-Burt (Make sure to read all her little comments next to her illustrations. Truly entertaining!) " — Tina Roth Eisenberg

"Kate is an original, her ideas are unique and one-of-a-kind. Her thoughts behind her daily drawings is brilliant, her dedication to persevere has to be acknowledged and her work is inspiring. The book, part diary, part sketchbook takes us through a selection of her daily purchase drawings, most of which are mundane things such as toothpaste, laundry soap and band-aids; but through this journey of purchasing the mundane (and sometimes splurges) we connect. We draw comfort in the familiar, the beautiful lines and patterns in her drawings and hand lettering and we feel better about our own personal consumerism and maybe laugh at ourselves or perhaps even find something new about ourselves we didn't know. A cool book to ponder." — Jan

My Love For You:
"I have to say that it is a GREAT book. I love everything about it. The look. The feel. The fact that it seems like someone's personal sketchbook that has been painstakingly categorized, that I've had the opportunity to flip through. But above all what I love is that I can relate to Kate's need and want to pay her debt down and her need and want to still purchase everyday items, necessities and treats for herself. It's an earnest, thoughtful process that she so candidly shares with us." — Meighan O'Toole

Significant Objects Meme (4), Significant Objects:
"Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today? (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010), by Kate Bingaman-Burt, represents a selection of three years worth of the authors annotated drawings of her purchases including wedding bands, beer, a dog, and, of course, drawing supplies." — Joshua Glenn
"Princeton Architectural Press presents Bingaman-Burts in a nicely designed volume, with each section in a monochrome color for no particular reason, other than it looks good. That kind of sums up her drawings, too." — Rod Lott

"Voyeurs will be giddy at the mere sight of the book, I can guarantee you that. My mind was actually conjuring images of Kate walking down the street, and finding THAT particular succulent in a pot in a store. Granted, I have a very vivid imagination, but to be able to see the everyday details in normal life drawn out in Obsessive Consumption made me realize that we all have more things in common than we thought (even though we are oceans away from each other.)" — Amy

Friday Five with Randy J. Hunt of Supercorp, Design-Milk:
"Speaking of amazing women, Kate Bingaman-Burt is a makers maker. Her tireless work drawing purchases and then publishing them in a monthly zine has been bringing a smile to my face for years. I cant wait to see her book that comes out this March." — Jaime

"Reading Kates book and blog is sort of like being a voyeur and peeking in someones shopping cart at the grocery store, but I like to think of the experience as being more anthropological in nature. See what you think: purchase the book here."

Save the Receipt, The New York Times Magazine:
"Obsessive Consumption (Princeton Architectural Press) is her sweet act of contrition... Read from beginning to end, Obsessive Consumption reveals a happy (if somewhat guilty) grasshopper who likes a good bargain as much as she likes a good burrito. Bingaman-Burt engages in the same name-brand culture as the rest of us, but in her life, at least, its art." — Andy Port

Audrey Monroe:
"I dont know what tickles me so much about Kate Bingaman-Burts new book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? but I am in love with it. Over three years, illustrator Bingaman-Burt drew every single thing she purchased and has now collected the images in a book that is arranged with wit and whimsy. Part calorie-counting equivalent, part journal, part social commentary, the idea of building up a character and life from ones purchases is very appealing to me. Besides, her style is just so deliciously pleasing."

13 of the Best Design Books of 2010, Fast Company:
"Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? (Princeton Architectural Press, $19.95) is a collection of daily purchase drawings Portland-based designer Kate Bingaman-Burt has created since 2006. In her hand, sketches of mundane objects are transformed into engaging statements on consumerism, spending, budgeting, celebration, indulgence, and of course, guilt."
"I've been a longtime fan of Kate Bingaman-Burt's Obsessive Consumption projecta wonderfully illustrated visual record of personal consumption running since February 5, 2006. So I was delighted when last year Princeton Architectural Press (of The Map as Art fame) added the project to this running list of blog-turned-book success stories and published Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?a charming illustrated chronicle of Bingham-Burt's adventures in a material world, spanning 200 pages and three years' worth of selected ink drawings from the project."

Go To Public School:
"Kate-Bingaman-Burt is an infectious maker, contagious spirit, and unbelievable teacher. Her book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did you Buy Today? , showcases 3 years of her ink drawings of her sundry purchases. Its published by Princeton Architectural Press and not only is it the perfect size, it also smells really good." — Will Bryant

Doodle Love: Kate Bingaman-Burt, Scatterbox:
"It's always interesting to see what makes it into her shopping cart in a non-skeezy, voyeuristic kind of way. You really learn a lot about the human condition." — Tina Jett

The Weekend Guide, Daily Candy:
"Because buying it is delightfully meta..."

Book By Its Cover:
"I think what Kate does is brilliant and makes us all think about why and how often we are buying stuff. The book is a wonderful collection of three years worth of her quirky line drawings and detailed credit card statements."

Cool Hunting:
"Now available in book format, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? is artist Kate Bingaman-Burt's winsomely self-conscious take on transparency and consumer culture." — Laura Nellson

"...its interesting to see what other people will buy and pay for its a quirky little view into someone elses life I have been given permission to be a voyeur!"
"What better way to cope with spending too much money during the holidays than by looking at another person's Obsessive Consumption!"

A Design Eye on the Things We Buy, ConsumeRetort:
"Kate Bingaman-Burt illustrates the purchases she makes on her blog Obsessive Consumption. Its absolutely charming. Her first book Obsessive Consumption, What Did You Buy Today? will be published by Princeton Architectural Press this year. Kate, when will we be able to get our hands on your yummy book?"

Kate Bingaman-Burt Draws Herself Out of Debt in "Obsessive Consumption", Fast Company:
"Bingaman-Burt walks us through some of her favorite images in the book as well as some more recent daily purchase drawings." — Alissa Walker

Art Milk:
"Many of you are probably familiar with Kate Bingaman-Burts obsessive consumption illustrations. Im excited to get a hold of her new book, Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?." — Crystal

Fast Company:
"Bingaman-Burt walks us through some of her favorite images in the book as well as some more recent daily purchase drawings." — Alissa Walker

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