READER'S DIGEST SWEEPSTAKES
The Reader's Digest Sweepsakes were developed in the early 1960s as a promotional device to solicit subscribers to the magazine and grew to comprise one of the largest respositories of monetary signification since the 19th century English lottery campaigns.
In 2012 I made a concerted effort to enter and attend to the requirements of the sweepstakes competition in order to collect printed ephemera used in the mailouts. This resulted in two works that looked at the use of monetary motifs in the company's promotional material. Ephemera Abstraction Suite reconstructs various sweeps mailings (imitation cheques, invoices, stocks and bonds) and mixes prestigous and vulgar monetary signifiers into carefully detailed abstractions. The Magic Half-Million is a map, compiled in the twelve months after I had subscribed to the magazine, that attempts to make sense of famously convoluted mailings connected with a single sweepstakes campaign.
Both works were exhibited in Play Money, curated by Jane O'Neill at the Counihan Gallery in 2012
A short artist statement can be viewed/downloaded here (18KB) and a longer illustrated essay on the subject of the sweepstakes here (1.2 MB PDF)