Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction

On a recent trip to Philadelphia I discovered a store that would serve as a huge inspiration for what I want do with my store. Art in the Age is sells clothes, art, accessories and other items made by their community of artists, creators and thinkers. The name and philosophy behind the brand come from an 1936 essay "The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction" written by a German cultural theorist named Walter Benjamin. (more below)

Better they explain it than me. Here is the philosophy in their words:

"Art In The Age of Mechanical Reproduction firmly believes in empowering artists producing high quality work marked by fine craft and intellectual rigor. We do so by applying the fruits of such labors to the cultural forms of everyday life, granting those who wish to engage the opportunity to do so in his/her own environment. Rather than exist at a distance in the white cube of the gallery space, we weave our offerings into the collective surface of myriad personal contexts. In this troubling epoch of industrial commodification, standardization of reproduction, and fomentation of a society of shallow spectacle, Art In The Age issues a challenge and rally cry. We fight fire with fire, subsuming the onslaught of watered down facsimiles and inaccessible displays with thought-provoking products of real cultural capital"

The design of the store is so inspiring as though you're in another time when products were all made by hand and were of high quality. I think smart businesses like this are the future of retail.

I cannot forget to mention The Root which is a pre-temperance alcohol made with sarsparilla, sassafras, birch bark and other wild roots and herbs recreated by the AITA folks. Also, it's organic.

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