The full run of x100 LOCAL badges sold out within 3 days. We are not exactly sure where all of these badges are now, but we imagine that they are in people’s homes, pinned onto bags, coats or other places.
During Plymouth Art Weekender 2017, LOW PROFILE sold LOCAL badges via a network of specially recruited artists who were all ‘local’ to Plymouth. We defined local as living or working in or near the city.
Across the weekend, LOW PROFILE promoted the LOCAL badge-selling artists (many of whom were exhibiting artwork as part of the weekender event), giving information about where to find them on social media. Many of the badges were also sold through conversations with people who had already bought a badge and were wearing them. This encouraged interested people to ‘hunt down’ one of the LOCAL badge-selling artists, leading to new conversations and badge-selling transactions.
LOCAL badge-sellers kept a 50% cut of the sale price (mirroring commercial markup). This meant that the sellers generated a micro-income through their position as a point-of-sale, and it helped to encourage them to sell as many badges as possible.
We are interested in the positive and negative implications of being ‘local’ and/or ‘a local’; for artists (who are often deemed to be most successful when they are ‘international’), or for any individual making ties to a place. We want to draw attention to the complex and layered connotations of this word, and when it is used to label (or make value judgements) about people.
LOCAL also tests and suggests an alternative to competitive artistic activity – where instead artists share in each other’s successes, promote each other with generosity, and work together to find creative ways to sustain, support and resource their work.