Guided Distractions - Convenience Store Experiments

Moving through convenience stores, individuals act impulsively and are attracted to the self-serving features. The claw machine is attributed to the enabling of agency in this informal activity. Our intention is to provide shared services that allow creative youth to play and generate unexpected expressions through art.

I study the remnants of items from corner stores. Items that are sold, stolen, or forgotten; abandoned or not. As well as the temporality attached to them. Their existence is transferred from one’s impulsive desires, moving into the world of proclaimed essential goods, to the servicing of others, and then to who knows where after it's finished being used and discarded.

I began this project by walking into existing corner stores, video recording on my phone, and pretending to (but actually) running errands. These store owners must hold a sense of obligation to acquire items that locals in their community desire. To fill all the shelves to their capacity so that their community will always have access to stuff. 

Questions I ask are what happens when people no longer occupy the site. How do these items come alive when left to their own devices? How can we take what exists; all the remnants of the site and allow it to operate in the ever-changing surroundings and culture of their neighborhood?

Through photodocumentary, I study the external materials and surfaces that art and ads can be applied to express the creative potential of these places.  

Instructor: Reza Nik

2.14.2022