Jargon Watch: BYM

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Buy Your Mind (BYM) – the exact opposite to DIY-culture. Instead of tinkering and hacking hardware, customising a set of jeans or designing your own t-shirt range (even if its, Threadless, Spreadshirt, Le Fraise or Cafe Press printing them) you purchase someone else’s designs.

This came from a sub-titled video that I watched  at the V&A’s China Design Now exhibtion. The video showed the grass roots feel of the MIDI music festival in Beijing (my experience of a Taiwanese oi band last summer at the Hong Kong Arts Club was not a fluke, punk is apparently big in China) and the way DIY small-scale t-shirt and badge sellers were being edged out as new business took over (think Glastonbury but without the pseudo-hippie undertones).

The festival merchandise and experience was described as moving from DIY to BYM. Most of the film was shot in 2005/6, the final shot being a sign forbidding the small scale merchants selling their DIY items. With the cancellation of this years MIDI music festival until after the olympic games, the organisers are instead throwing a grand party with a return the DIY ethic of earlier MIDI festivals.