Contemporary DIY

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DIY, short for "Do-it-yourself," refers to contemporary artists who foreground self-reliance and the self-made, particularly in opposition to mass production and mass culture (and their accompanying alienation). DIY emerged in the 1950s' popularization of amateur home improvement and was given political significance by the 1960s counterculture, and later the Punk movement. Examples of Contemporary DIY include Joe Scanlan's IKON EARTH project, in which he patented his own brand of potting soil, or Andrea Zittel’s A-Z enterprise, in which the artist produces clothing, furniture, and "homestead units" independent of all established systems of production and manufacturing. Frequently, artists working in this vein explore alternative modes of exhibition or distribution, such as zines, artist books, pop-up shops or architecture that blur the boundaries between living and working.

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