10,000 items or less

10,000 items or less is a video art piece I worked on in the spring of 2008. It was a reaction to how I was thinking about the entire process of producing a single product. Each product in a store had to be needed, conceived, researched, have it’s resources harvested, produced, marketed, shipped, and stocked. The man hours involved in doing all those tasks alone is difficult to fully process, and then this number is multiplied for each item in the store.


It involved dozen’s of trips to different supermarkets in the area. I had to go to several stores because I was never actually allowed to take pictures in any of the stores, so I would occasionally be asked to leave.


In the end, I had a little over 10,000 images of individual products in the stores. Unfortunately, 10,000 doesnt even reach half of the actual number of items in a supermarket. I skipped whole aisles and types of food and products. I ended up taking about 9,000 of the pictures myself and about 1,000 of them are from some helpers I had along the way. The above video plays back at 30fps, but there is a 60fps version as well.


The images were sequenced in Jitter. The sound is generated by running the finished video through a Max/MSP patch and deriving chords based on the RGB values of each image.


In September 2010, I released every single image as a torrent. You can download it here if there are still any seeders left. I released the images in the hopes that someone interested in data visualization could do something interesting with them, like a simple color sort. Kyle McDonald did a simple average of the frames of certain sections ( link here )



10,000 items or less has been featured in several festivals on the east coast. It has been part of the onedotzero festival at EMPAC as part of the Student Selects. It was also in PICS 2009 at The Center for Photography at Woodstock, NY, Pixilerations [v.5] in Providence, RI and the DRIP festival at RPI and VCU.


All images have also assembled into a massive, massive JPEG (~7800x55000px). Contact me if you would like to download it.

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