Tiyan Baker and Guy Louden: Panic Buy

‘Panic Buy’ is an online exhibition project by Tiyan Baker and Guy Louden examining the social and economic effects of the coronavirus crisis through engaging digital mediums.

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed the flaws in global economic systems and their incapabilities to absorb crises. International market forces are now vulnerable and contingent, as, on a local scale, supermarket shelves are bare and restrictions imposed on everyday items such as toilet paper. The failure of complex supply chain systems to account for consumer crisis-demands reveal
fundamental structural weaknesses – ‘Panic Buy’ considers this situation.

Guy Louden, Still Life Crisis I-III, 2020, digital render

Tiyan has conducted field research into supermarket supply chain algorithms; how they are formed, how the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted them and attempts to rebuild them in the face of increasingly unstable futures. Guy has developed new digital sculpture involving in-demand consumer objects. These artworks will consider how the crisis has eroded confidence in the permanence and inevitably of our high-growth, high-waste economic system.

Both artists have worked in tandem to produce custom software to be embedded on the website. This features an absurd algorithmic model that attempts to predict shopper behaviour in the face of crisis. From essential items like flour, pasta and canned tomatoes, to speciality products like Maggie Beer curry pastes and gourmet sourdough crackers, audiences can browse grocery store products and see how the system adapts – or fails to adapt – to the panic buy effect.

Sawtooth ARI (Online)
From 18 September 2020