For What it’s Worth

Editorial and objects, 2019

'For What it’s Worth’ is a visual research on how people review jewellery on online platforms like Amazon, Alibaba or other online platforms.

I was drawn to a particular gold-plated necklace sold via Amazon for 10 euros. The listing for this basic necklace includes an image, but little information about its origins. Its life after leaving the marketplace, on the other hand, is well documented.

Across nearly 3 500 reviews, past buyers have recorded a wealth of reviews, textual and visual. I edited parts of these reviews for republication as name necklace pendants. These discursive objects comment on both their own production and the review-based creation of value, performing a kind of auto-critique.

For their fabrication, I commissioned via Amazon a China-based producer who works with a six-word limit. This became a criterion by which phrases from the reviews were selected.

The phrases themselves, each having played some part in manipulating perceptions of the necklace, testify to the role of collective narrative in the production of value.

'The shipping was super fast'

'The finishing is quite resilient'

'Much more delicate than you imagine'

'I wore this for job interviews'

Editorial design, objects: Irma Foldenyi Research: Irma Foldenyi and Evelien Bracke