Inspector London – from Marx to Mobiles The consumer as designer/producer – a sketch of contemporary consumption/production landscapes.
“Virtual marketplaces such as eBay are symptomatic of the tendencies of innovative consumer involvement in the determination of the product within the wider current consumption landscape. Established as the alternative marketplace worldwide eBay created a new exchange process. Similar to catalogue purchasing systems goods can only be evaluated through information /documentation provided by the seller. Actual physical contact with the object is deferred until the point of delivery. The crucial difference is that, rather than the standardised, objectified information provided by most consumer spaces, such as supermarkets or catalogues, the shelves of eBay have been reclaimed by the language and imagery of the individual. Products here are photographed from within and bare the trace of home environments of mini-entrepreneurs and living-room niche-service industries. Significantly evaluation of the offered product relies more on the imagination of buyers evaluating the symbolic information provided and therefore on pre-existing knowledge rather than physical contact with the objects at the time.” (From the Inspector London Info Page)