Consumer Research Center/ engages in consumer activities as models for social connectivity in twenty-first-century arts organizations. CRC/ is a public arena and research platform that uses forms of consumer exchange—bookshops, coffee bars, fashion and design boutiques, and farmers markets—to pose questions about the power and value of consumer points for building publics. CRC/ is responsive to the hybridization of contemporary life and culture, where a “bookshop/screening” or a “coffee bar/artist talk” offers the expanded possibility for viable economic sustainability as well as uniting communities in a singular physical arena. CRC/ probes the consumption of both immaterial and material culture as part of the overall experience of arts and entertainment, where traditional differences between visitors and consumers are increasingly blurred in cultural spaces today. CRC/ critically reflects upon these contemporary conditions while leveraging the potential of combining consumer exchange and cultural experience.
CRC/bookshop is the first installment of Consumer Research Center/. Located on Level 3 of the Carpenter Center, this platform is a collaboration between the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts and Motto Books (based in Berlin). CRC/bookshop provides students and visitors with access to more than 500 titles by artists, critics, filmmakers, and cultural institutions from around the world. As a ground for cultural production, it also hosts activities that transform the consumer outlet of a bookshop into a bookshop/exhibition, bookshop/screening, and bookshop/talk.
Organized by James Voorhies, John R. and Barbara Robinson Family Director