A number of ipods are “lost” in subways, buses, and public spaces throughout an urban area. The ipods contain recordings of voices reading texts on the de-privatization of property/information and the ethics of stealing and communal property, many of which have been banned or are out of print. Shortly thereafter, I visit the lost and found offices pertaining to the spaces where the objects were planted. The ipods are donated. If any are returned, I sell them used online, with the recordings included, and use that income as my artist’s fee. The project simultaneously seeks to engage and question the ethics and philosophies of privatization, to challenge the public on an individual level to think about these questions, to disseminate ideas that are not easily accessible, and to alchemically generate its own funding while subverting the traditional paradigm wherein the artist receives income by selling unique objects to a single collector. “Usufruct” is a legal term referring to the right to use and benefit from property originally belonging to another, and comes from Latin words for ‘use’ and ‘enjoyment.’
Thank you! to TekServe for their generous donation of ipods.
wikipedia on usufruct