The General Store by: Lane Shordee & Nikki Martens

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We are Lane Shordee and Nikki Martens, a creative duo investigating urban sustainability, ecology, and the economy via performance & installation. Our General Store is the first pop-up store that trades in the eight different forms of capital: material, intellectual, living, spiritual, financial, social, experiential, and cultural. At The General Store we recognize that it is the sum of these eight forms that contribute to a thriving, holistic, and sustainable community. The store becomes a research tool to see how these different forms of capital intermingle and coexist. Each iteration of the store begins with a varied stock of goods that gets us going: coffee, jokes, pins, and haircuts for example; but our inventory is primarily sourced from what the community has to offer and is willing to trade. These trades are documented within our sacred ledger book, which acts as an organic narrative of interactions. Past recordings include: “a beet for a beat”, “witch protection for craft supplies”, and our ever-popular “coffee for a joke”. Trades range from the ephemeral to the tangible, and together become an all day act of participant/artist based performances driven by the question of value. Fleeting goods, such as life stories or sage advice are collected as audio or video, which can then be traded back to participants in the form of ‘cultural’ or ‘intellectual’ capital. Physical objects become vectors for the exchange of ideas. Ultimately we are asking our beloved customers what has value to them, how do we measure that value, and how do we come to an equally beneficial exchange? The true draw of 17th avenue is in the cultural and social experiences it provides, along with the unique local goods and services it offers. It would be a sincere pleasure to open The Roaming General Store on the avenue, and return some of the material, intellectual, living, spiritual, financial, social, experiential, and cultural capital we’ve gained there.

The store’s third iteration, The Roaming General Store, will celebrate the holistic economy 17th avenue brings into the lives of Calgarians. Our intention is to stock a mobile, foldout store with items that display the unique offerings from each business on our block, along with ephemera and bric-a-brac from our own collection. The interactive week of exchange will attract patrons to be a part of what is happening on 17th avenue, elongating the time they spend there. We will be building relationships with some of the businesses on our block, with whom we would be pleased to work. Our concept is adaptable to any of the blocks. As mentioned, we’ll be creating a bike-portable store that folds-out and pops-up at any location, roaming along our block over the course of a week. We will be flexible with the location of the pop-up, adapting further than our block, sparking activity up and down 17th avenue. Homespun advertising will be carried by word of mouth from satisfied customers, and satellite bike missions will generate activity all along the avenue. The legacy of The Roaming General Store will culminate in a community created collection from our week of interactions, housed within a display cabinet, at a location yet to be determined.

The Roaming General Store will represent #thecREativeRealm 'Block Five' taking place between 7th and 11th Street on 17th Avenue SW the week of August 6th to 11th. Business will be open 8 hours a day over the 6 days, and exact hours will straddle business needs.

Daniel Kirk