Three Ways To Acquire A Pen
Arthur Rowe Jones
This project reimagines the process of acquiring an object - a pen - in three different ways. It tells three stories that each play out in different systems, which all take varying approaches to the functionalities and desires that objects create. These stories are told through physical artefacts and recorded audio narratives.
1. Assessed Bureaucracy: applications for a standardised pen are sent to a government office, and tests are prescribed to ensure the quality of their use.
2. Agrarian Democracy: bamboo is grown and then whittled into reed pens by a rural community, and 2nd hand mass-produced biros can be traded for from a travelling salesman.
3. Exclusive Rentierism: a selective club rents out an executive style ballpoint, candidates seeking to associate with the prestige the group proclaims to exemplify.
Our unsustainable consumerist material culture is built to create the moment of purchase. The structure of this process of acquisition has effects on products both before purchase, its design, and afterwards, in use. Reorganising the point of exchange is an overlooked aspect of developing an ecologically viable material culture, but these fictional systems do not claim to be that solution. They intend to evoke different ways of doing, and invoke further consideration of how we come to get the things around us.