Made in China: The Fingerprints Behind the Knickknacks

We don’t often stop and think about the people behind outsourced production. Lorena Turner’s Made in China project provides visual evidence that actual human beings construct and handle each plastic knickknack we buy. Purchased in US department stores and bodegas, these rubrics cubes, light bulbs, and sandwich holders were carefully removed from their packaging, dusted for fingerprints and photographed under a black light, revealing fingerprints and smudges. “Made in China is not intended to comment on the scale or absurdity of our consumptive practices, but to remind us that we are only one factor in that equation,” she writes. Click through to see “the human factor” of outsourced production in our gallery.

Lorena Turner, Rubik’s Cubes, 2008