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Feral Trade and Houses of Benefit, Kate Rich

Feral Trade (Import-Export) is an artist-run grocery business established in Bristol, 2003. The process is called Feral Trade to distinguish it from other methods such as Fair or Free. Feral Trade forges new, wild trade routes across hybrid territories of business, art and social interaction. Goods are run along social routes, avoiding official channels of grocery distribution in preference for a hand-carried cargo system, often using other artists or curators as mules. This distribution infrastructure is modelled on the ’store and forward’ protocol of email, and proposes the surplus freight potential of networked social and cultural movements as a viable alternative to regular freight services (white van, supermarket lorry, Parcelforce, DHL).

Kate will also be developing the Houses of Benefit project, a distributed hotel service promoting diversity in bed & breakfast lodgings for the cultural sector. Houses of Benefit is designing a Per Noctem contract for OFFLOAD visiting artists and festival guests, to credit wild or offmarket accommodation options such as sleeping in trees or staying with own friends with a comparable billing value to the facilities of a conventional hotel. With the Per Noctem system, guests will be issued a nightly accommodation fee scaled inversely to the level of amenities OFFLOAD provides them.

External Project Link


Kate Rich

About the Creator

Kate Rich is an Australian-born artist & trader. In the 1990s she moved to California to work as radio engineer with the Bureau of Inverse Technology (BIT), an international agency producing an array of critical information products including economic and ecologic indices, event-triggered webcam networks, and animal-operated emergency broadcast devices. The Bureau's work has been exhibited broadly in academic, scientific and museum contexts.

Restless at the turn of the century, she headed further east to take up the post of Bar Manager at the Cube Microplex, Bristol UK; where she launched Feral Trade, a public experiment trading goods over social networks. She is currently moving deeper into the infrastructure of cultural economy, developing protocols to define and manage amenities of hospitality, catering, mobility sports and survival in the cultural realm.