The stuff we buy
READING KATE BINGAMAN-BURT’S Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today? is like flipping through her private sketchpad. The illustrations chronicle three years of daily purchases, from iced coffee to parking tickets to her wedding ring. The book, in its second printing by Princeton Architectural Press, has garnered attention from Time magazine, The New York Times, CoolHunting.com, and other media.
The assistant art professor’s interest in consumption began more than a decade ago at her first job out of college, designing labels for a food and gift manufacturer and spending time at trade shows. “I was surrounded by companies selling all of these seemingly unnecessary items, and I became really interested in why people buy what they buy,” she says.
Her daily drawings began in 2007 as an exercise in sketching (she continues to offer the originals for sale on her website). It was her unique drawing style that caught the eye of the arts and crafts industry, and in 2007 she was contracted to illustrate the book Handmade Nation, also published by Princeton Architectural. That is when editorial staff saw a sample of her daily drawings and other work and proposed the book, which has been on Amazon.com’s art/photo/culture best seller list since its release.
By “documenting the mundane and putting a story behind the common, mass produced items” Bingaman-Burt hopes to inspire readers to see their own consumption habits a little more clearly.
Success from both sides of the camera
WHEN DEIRDRE LORENZ first visited the Greek island of Santorini for a friend’s wedding, she was amazed by the rugged, volcanic landscape. “This is a place people should see,” she thought, “and if they can’t make it here, they should see it on the screen.”
Lorenz was able to make that happen—she’s a New York-based actress and model who has appeared in films (Two Weeks Notice, El Cantante, and The Emperor’s Club) on television’s Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and on the cover of New York Magazine. After five years of fund raising and shooting, she is now the producer and star of her own first feature-length film, Santorini Blue.
The film asks the question, Lorenz says, “Can love be rekindled?” Matthew Panepinto, the film’s director and Lorenz’s longtime creative partner, plays the male lead. He tries to win back his estranged wife, played by Lorenz, on the island where she has gone to get over his infidelity. The movie features several of Lorenz’s Law and Order co-stars, including Ice-T and Richard Belzer.
The PSU alumna says her business education came in handy in her role as producer. “In filmmaking, you have to budget everything. If you can’t run a business, you can’t get anything accomplished.” For her work in front of the camera, she was nominated for Best Actress at the Hoboken International Film Festival, and Santorini Blue won the audience award for Best of the Festival. In September, the film will be shown at the prestigious Toronto Independent Film Festival, and in October it comes to the Eugene International Film Festival.
That’s not the only trip to Oregon Lorenz has planned. She’ll appear in a film to be shot in her home state soon. She plans to keep taking opportunities as they come, whether developing her own projects or acting in others’ films. “I just feel so lucky to be in the business,” Lorenz says, “whether it’s my good story or someone else’s good story, that’s what I like—a good story.”
Come to campus
Enjoy the newly remodeled Lincoln Hall at a performance of The House of Blue Leaves Friday, November 12, through Saturday, November 20. The savagely funny play examines the pursuit of fame with humorous lines set against tragic circumstances. Tickets are $12 for adults and may be purchased at the PSU Box Office, 503-725-3307.
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WE WANT TO HEAR about your books and recordings and your future exhibits, performances, and directing ventures. Contact the magazine by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or mailing Portland State Magazine, Office of University Communications, PO Box 751, Portland OR 97207-0751.