Marketplaces serve as gathering sites for the exchange of goods and services. Throughout history, marketplaces have also been a key site for informal community where people gather, share news, and make personal connections. Mix-Mart is a market booth for creating, collecting, listening to, trading, and talking about mix tapes. As independent music stores have largely faded away in an era of Amazon and online filesharing much of the allure of discovery is lost when you can no longer browse “staff selections” or recommendations in a physical space or flip through friends’ albums or CD books. Mix-Mart serves as a temporary space for visitors to make discoveries of new music, as well as to curate themselves directly into this exhibition.
Sclavi collaborated with artist Lee Tusman to create a handmade quilted fabric market booth stocked with personal mix tapes and CDs was available for listening on a large stacked speaker system. The Mix-Mart also included materials to decorate CD cases and cassettes and a listening station to sample the various mixes, and a several “mix-tape making” events at the Painted Bride in Philadelphia.