Rosemary Williams is a multimedia artist based in Saint Paul, whose work explores ideas that personalize the concepts of power and consumption. She is an Assistant Professor of New Media at St. Cloud State University. Rosemary’s work has been exhibited nationally; recent shows include “Point of Purchase” at the dumbo arts center in Brooklyn and “8x8x8” at the Soap Factory in Minneapolis. She also recently participated in the Triangle Artists Workshop in New York City. In 2007 her work will be shown at the Fieldgate Gallery in London, and she will have a solo show at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. Her current project, “Rosemary Goes to the Mall” started as a large-scale installation of shopping bags she created called “The Wall of Mall” and has since become a 27-episode podcast, in which she narrates her experience of shopping at every store at the Mall of America.
“Rosemary Goes to the Mall” is a podcast that developed out of “The Wall of Mall.” After being told by salespeople that I couldn’t have bags for my piece without purchasing something from the stores, I began a long shopping journey with the goal of buying one item from each store at the Mall, and then returning it without the bag. Each podcast represents one shopping trip to the Mall, usually covering between 10 and 15 stores, and is an audio blog covering the events of the day, including the psychology of the kinds of choices I make in each store, interesting interactions with the salespeople, rambling philosophizing about shopping, and occasional trips to the fortune teller machine in the amusement park. Some days I have themes for my shopping, such as trying to buy the best value at each store, or on crabbier days buying the item that most epitomizes our decrepit American consumer culture. Other adventures include getting high at the oxygen bar and buying a $500 GPS system for my car at Radio Shack. The podcast debuted in July 2006, and will be released bi-weekly through August 2007. –Rosemary Williams