One of my little projects has been collecting the “Free” signs that people leave next to some old furniture or box of junk on the sidewalk, indicating that you are “free” to liberate yourself by taking possession of their material detritus. I am, of course, aware that this is an anti-social breach of the implicit contract of such signs, since the “free” of the sign does not really refer to itself,* but the blindly literal nature of my reading has been, in practice, much too much of a temptation to resist. And so, a biting satiric commentary on American slavish devotion to liberation through commodities? Or a bored and kleptomaniacal graduate student? I have no idea. But this has been the result:
* Or does it? is there a semoticist in the house?