The Power of Provenance

Organisations don’t make things, people do. Whether it’s a piece of craft furniture mady by an artisan, a piece of fast fashion from a high st retailer, or submitting ourselves to a call centre algorithm, ve validate the transacton with our money and our attention.

In a world of industrial fake news, soulless AI, industrialised “efficient” labour, and an economy predicated on more of more every decision we take is important as maybe never before. Whether the isse is Uighur cotton, or Blueberries with more airmiles than a black card holder, what we do counts, Every transaction is a surrogate relationship with whomever actually made what you’re buying, or buying in to. It might be a piece of clothing, or a culture that wants an algorithm rather than a person to deal with you. Every piece of work is effectively signed by the maker.

How do you feel about who made what you’re buying?

As we go into 2021, I’d like to think provenance moves more centre stage. Our ability to choose has enormous power, not least because of the questions that inform our choices. Who made this? Where was it made? Do I feel ok about that? How sustainable is it? and lots of other questions that probably wouldn’t have occurred to many of us 12 months ago.

As producers, we are at the other end of that decision. How proud are we to say “I made this?” How do we feel about who helped us make it, and on whose behalf we made it?

It was much easier to just coast buying things last Christmas. This year, our choices are much clearer to see. For ourselves and others.

Powerful thing, Provenance.

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