Pet Shop by Pet Project investigates the life of objects purchased from auction websites such as eBay and Etsy. The ubiquity of the internet allows people around the world to upload items to online marketplaces, which, as a result, function as kind of crowdsourced archive for rare, vintage and unique items. The photos that accompany each listing are an integral component, meant to capture the object’s likeness, materiality, color and scale. Occasionally these photos will take the object comically out of context or a seller will, intentionally or not, make a compositional choice that breaks convention. Sometimes the object itself is unusual, and stand out amongst the overwhelming quantity of objects online. These objects and listings are the focus of Pet Shop.
We purchased “pets” that struck us for their uniqueness, personality and charm. Many of our selections are glass and ceramic animal figurines from the mid twentieth century. Their sweetness and unusualness is a welcomed, pure presence in the context of the cheap, mass-produced bric-a-brac consumer sites like eBay generally sell. Re-working layout and photographic styling from our favorite e-stores to create graphic media for print and our virtual gallery, Pet Shop explores intergenerational internet usage, the crux between physical and virtual stores, and nostalgia in the internet age.