Spending Patterns (January-April), 2020 - Serving the People
Spending Patterns (January-April), 2020 - Serving the People

Spending Patterns (January-April), 2020

Clare Wallmark Fingerprinted ink with graphite on adding machine paper, scanned; audio recording; webpage
Dimensions variable (121 strips of paper, ea 2 in. wide)
Dimensions variable (121 strips of paper, ea 5 cm. wide)
University of Southern California



Spending Patterns (2020) records my daily financial transactions from January 1st through April 30th, 2020, encoded into minimal, fingerprinted dot patterns produced by typing the relevant number into a ten-key number pad – as on an adding machine or calculator. The method of mark-making is sourced from my “day job” as a bookkeeper. The piece itself is a self-portrait rendered through my expenses (black) and income (red) – the traces I leave “on the grid” under capitalism over time – which are mediated through a relationship to my bodily traces, wherein fingerprints act as identifiers of identity and tactility. Through a subject matter that’s deeply personal and generally private held in tension with a process of aestheticization which makes it nearly unreadable, it’s a project bent on revealing as well as obscuring and concealing. Additionally, in the wake of California’s Safer at Home measures in mid-March, the move to remote learning and online exhibitions challenged me to digitize my work and explore how it could exist in the virtual realm. This exploration has resulted in an interactive web document in which the scanned fingerprint records are made visible alongside the handwritten data otherwise hidden on their reverse (to explore, please use the hover and zoom features within the document).