Cultures of complaint


Former Texas senator Phil Gramm famously complained that “we have sort of become a nation of whiners,” but 2008 Bush Fellow Matthew Bakkom, whose tabloid-size booklet “The New York City Museum of Complaint” was published in 2006, has argued

“The point of complaining is not necessarily that it’s going to change things. . . . It’s more kind of an existential act that is essential to democracy.” via NYT

At the 2006 01SJ Biennial, Tad Hirsch’s Tripwire hid custom-built noise sensors in coconuts hung in a public park near the San Jose airport. Detection of excessive noise levels triggered automated telephone calls to the airport’s complaint line on behalf of the city’s residents and wildlife.

Tad Hirsch, Tripwire, 2006 01SJ Biennial