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Editorial Statement:

For many consumers, coffee is more than a product – it is an identity. Modern coffee companies employ a number of recognized narratives to target these consumers, leading to a homogeneity to these hagiographies. Each brand attempts to convey to prospective customers that their product represents the highest quality, ethical standards, and sustainable sources. By extension, customers choosing their brand are exhibiting elevated status and sophistication. Redshift Coffee uses Lovecraftian sci-fi to tell a fictional story segmented throughout the site that satires common marketing motifs.

The coffee products listed for sale are real. The products in the goods section may or may not be real. Those items listed as out of stock are part of the fictional story.

Artist Statement:

Redshift Coffee is an exercise in creative storytelling using brand identity tropes and imagery to tell a fictional story. The site was inspired by the work of Joseph Matheny’s “living book”, Ong’s Hat: The Inculabula Papers, and Sandy Pearlman’s Imaginos mythos behind the 1970’s rock band Blue Oyster Cult. The site functions as both an ergotic story and a critique of modern brand messaging. 


Mark Overly studied creative writing and literary arts at the University of Alaska Anchorage. He has been in the coffee industry since 1988 and in that time has built two successful coffee roasting businesses. He now lives in Denver, Colorado.