Where Did Your Rent Money Go? The Art of Buying Less


In Obsessive Consumption, Portland-based artist Kate Bingaman-Burt examines consumerism through art. Faced with credit card debt, Bingaman-Burt responded by documenting her experience through drawing and photography. The book represents a selection of three years worth of Bingaman-Burt's ink drawings.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Kate about her book, artwork and how to live lightly and creatively in a 600-square-foot home. You can view a sample of Obsessive Consumption at her website (But also be sure to spend some time checking out her "What Did You Buy Today" blog of the drawings of items she purchases daily).

Rented Spaces:

You've been drawing something that you purchase every day since early 2006. What inspired the "What Did You Buy Today" project?

Kate Bingaman-Burt:
I started making work about personal consumerism around 2002 when I started photo documenting all of my purchases and then I created a brand called Obsessive Consumption to serve as the umbrella for all of my consumption projects to fall under.

Prior to my work about consumption, I worked as a designer in the home gift industry (candles, fancy foods, potpourri etc). Attending trade shows was a regular event for me and I was really engaged by watching what people would buy or not buy so I started thinking about my own purchasing patterns and impulses and the storytelling that people engage in over objects.