Frequently Asked Questions: How did you started to work on “Survival Kits”? 
Deborah Ligorio: In a poetic or ironic mood I imagined survival kits for situations that may result from the economic crisis, like the loss of job or the house loss together with consequences like having to move in the office space or back to the parents' house. Situations that can be connected to mass phenomena like brain drain or foreclosure. Natural catastrophes like earthquakes and floods may also inspire some of the survival kits, but not as apocalyptic scenarios, rather in the way they shape everyday life. 

FAQ: How do they deal with the slogan “we are the 99 %”? Why the assemblage and the bronze? 
DL: The way I make editions of the Survival Kits refers to the idea of the 1% and the 99 %. Even though I think that the slogan “we are the 99%” is imprecise, I find it interesting to elaborate on it. The kits made for the 99 are assemblages of objects - for instance an ethernet cable, a toothbrush, and a plastic cup. I also insert a “collaged part” that is meant to work as visual instruction. Almost like an etiquette, it becomes the most allusive element, for example when I place the image of a superhero on the plastic cup. The kit for the “ones” is a bronze, a cast of the very same assemblage. 

FAQ: Are the kits editions or unique pieces?
DL: The “ninety-nine's” kits come as an edition of 99, while the bronze is always one unique piece. This way, the technical relations are put upside down. Normally one would assume that the bronze is a reproduced item and whereas the manual assemblage is unique. But in fact, it is easier

and cheaper to create 99 copies of an assemblage rather than to mechanically reproduce a bronze, thanks to the fact that our world drowns in cheap industrially made objects. The assemblages are made with easy to find items, abundant products. The “master” consists in nothing else than a list of objects. Whenever I assemble these objects, the piece counts as reproduced. With this idea of manually assembled editions I explore a different, pre-industrial mode of reproduction. As a result, the bronze is a unique piece, whilst the assemblages are 99 versions, unique and different at the same time. 

FAQ: What about the distribution? How do you place them on the market.
DL: The kits are sold on two different markets. The bronze will go through the gallery, whilst the assemblages will sell on e-bay. This does not change the type of buyer. Whomever interested in collecting will be able to acquire a piece. But, of course, through eBay I approach customers with a very different income and without access to the genuine art market. Even if both versions are presented and shown in exhibitions or in art-fairs, whomever interested in buying an assemblage has to go through Ebay. The idea is also to subvert exclusivity of the art-market. the Art world the difference between the hypothetical 1 and the 99 % . By playing with the art market I want to stress this very point. 

FAQ: How does the blog whit al the images relate to the project? 
DL: Each image should serve as a reference for the construction of follow-up kits as much as for the maintenance of older ones. I am also working on a contract to be issued to the collectors of the assemblages that will allow them to exchange pieces when broken or clean when dirty, and even to recompose the assemblage according to their needs. 

FAQ: Is this body of work for you a political statement or a comment on the economic situation ? 
DL: I would say that ironically the two go well together. Art is not only a sophisticated cultural product for those who take the effort to understand it.Very often it is simply taken as collectible commodity.

FAQ: Are the objects connected to some sort of real life experience? 
DL: In general, they are inspired by real stories, some more then others. "Kostas", for instance, is about an employee of the greek TV station Alter Channel. The station was occupied by its workers, after not having been paid for over a year. Kostas in particular ha lost his house and moved in the TV station. 

FAQ: What kind of research do you do? 
DL: Some of the stories that inspired me don't result from active research. They where in the news. Some others are references to cinema or literature. In terms of research I did a series of video interviews with the idea to find out the general understanding of the term “survival kit”. I was simply curious to see what situations other people may imagine to survive. The first interviews where taken in NYC, more will follow, in Berlin where I live, or in Italy, from where I come from. At some point, I may also include the views of people from the cultural field, like intellectuals, artists or architects. But for the beginning, I decided to start with casual encounters. 

FAQ: To which type of situation do the kits refer: emergency, survival, daily life?
DL: They mostly refer to situations of daily life. For the kits, I assemble objects that indicate a state of unbalance of what is available. They would not serve well for surviving total emptiness. They rather apply to the survival of everyday life. One may be able to buy a number of new accessories, but not be able to cure an health problem. More often we encounter a surplus of the unnecessary whilst lacking the indispensable.