Noa Wesley is a senior at Cornell and an artist who works in multiple platforms, with an especially keen eye for photography. found from craigslist is a Tumblr blog that Noa created a year ago where she re-posts various craigslist ads; these are absurd (and often hilarious) objects and photos that create a telling portrait of our relationship with our consumer-goods. When viewed altogether on the blog, her gallery is a reflection of our contemporary identity and how it evolves with the internet and social media. Additionally, it has challenged some of my own ideas on what we constitute as “art”.
Noa is an old friend of mine, and a chance encounter with her this weekend led to a discussion about her blog and how it covers themes such as “performance”, “waste”, “origins”, and many others that are prevalent in our classes’ texts and discussions.
One of the things that you notice when looking at Noa’s blog is that the humor derived from the ads comes from the amateur nature of their photographs; while sometimes it is obvious that the seller is trying to be humorous, it is normally ambiguous whether or not the comedy is intentional. This ambiguity is what drew me to her blog; Noa’s selection does not feel mean-spirited because she is not making fun of the sellers or their advertisements. Instead, she is inviting the audience to interpret and relate to the sellers. She told me “These are artifacts that are brought from the private sphere and into the public. I think it’s interesting that the person behind the camera has a relationship with these objects that they don’t want them… at one point they had a use for these objects.”
There is also a sense of primitive and amateur mercantilism on display that I find very interesting “Some of the photos are just so unappealing,” Noa says. “If someone posts a picture of a used makeup brush and it’s in a pile of dirt, who is going to buy it?”
In the texts in class, we explore the ideas and feelings behind homes and property, as well as the often careless swindling that goes into the trade. While I find Noa’s blog intriguing as an extension of both personal and financial performance, I’d love to hear your own thoughts!