Thursday, August 24, 2006

Cataloguing Shopping Carts in Their Native Habitat


I don't understand why Julian Montague has yet to be inducted into the Inventors Hall of Fame, but I expect it will happen soon. Montague has made a contribution to society of a magnitude unmatched by all but a very few: he has invented a method for identifying stray shopping carts.
Until now, the major obstacle that has prevented people from thinking critically about stray shopping carts has been that we have not had any formalized language to differentiate one shopping cart from another.

In order to encourage a more nuanced and comprehensive understanding of the phenomenon, I have worked for the past six years to develop a system of identification for stray shopping carts. Unlike a Linaean taxonomy, which is based on the shared physical characteristics of living things, this system works by defining the various states and situations in which stray shopping carts can be found. The categories of classification were arrived at by observing shopping carts in different situations and considering the conditions and human motives that have placed carts in specific situations and the potential for a cart to transition from one situation to another.
Link (via Neatorama).

Indexed by tags art, shopping cart, identification, Julian Montague, taxonomy, catalogue.


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