Pictures of Stuff: Stuff on an object

This Retro Thing post caught my eye:

Via Retro Thing. Click to read Retrothing post.

It’s not just a thing decorated with images of other things, it’s a thing for discarding things, decorated with images of things.

This post is part of an occasional series.

Significant Objects X Paola Antonelli X Core77

Okay I so I dialed back the constant mentions of Significant Objects on this site, but this might be of interest to some of you: We have a special week-long event underway, a set of objects “curated” for us by an actual curator — Paola Antonelli, of MoMA — with the stories co-published on one of my very favorite sites, Core77. A story a day, all week.

Pretty cool. Proceeds for our current batch of object auctions are all going to Girls Write Now. Your help in spreading the word about this is always appreciated.

One or two more pieces of news about S.O. in the next week or so, but I promise not to get carried away.

In The New York Times Magazine: Slightly Used

What can we learn from our (seemingly) pointless tools?

A predictable thought crossed my mind: how funny, how absurd, that the cutting tool, the ur-thing of functionality, has evolved into a premium-priced stylish object that seems more suitable for display than for use. But after listening to the first 30 episodes of the radio series (it starts up again in May), which bring the story up to about 300 B.C., I’ve had second thoughts about that glib analysis.

Read the column in the April 4, 2010, New York Times Magazine, or here.

Discuss, make fun of, or praise this column to the skies at the Consumed Facebook page.

The idea of the book, cont’d: As pillow

Via Book of Joe:

Workaholic Pillow. Click for more.

Workaholic Pillow. Click for more.

Part of an occasional series.

Also added, of course, to Things That Look Like Other Things.

Pictures of stuff, cont’d: Tchtochke wallpaper

By Sarah Kueng. Click for more info.

Creator Sarah Kueng writes: “I composed the wallpaper from everyday objects and found objects. The objects are arranged in a grid designed to generate calm. The wallpaper inspires the viewer to add personal objects. The result is an interesting mixture of new and old, and two and three dimensions.”

Via Core77’s Lisa Smith, who has more to say, here.

Pictures of Stuff is an occasional series.

The idea of the book, cont’d: Trophy books revealed

Core77 points to Music Machinery’s suggestion that Amazon could do a lot more with the data it is collecting (or could be collecting) via Kindle software: “It keeps track of where you are in a book so that if you switch devices (from an iPhone to a Kindle or an iPad or desktop), you can pick up exactly where you left off.” This leads Music Machinery to suggest the generation of LastFM-style charts and so on, identifying various trends about how we read and so on. The suggestion that jumped out at me:

Trophy Books – books that are most frequently purchased, but never actually read.

I’m not personally excited about user-data-harvesting, but that is, in fact, pretty interesting. And funny.

Surely if such information does end up being collected, it could be cross-worked with book-imagery that we may one day display on our devices and virtual shelves?

See the Music Machinery post for more of Paul Lemere’s ideas. Earlier posts in this occasional Murketing series are here.

Pictures of Stuff, cont’d: Object-clumping

Tower of Drawers, by James Nizam. Click for details.

Entanglement of Chairs, by James Nizam. Click for details.

Like many other entries in this occasional series: via Junk Culture.

The idea of the book, cont’d: Edible

“Booklava,” by Chuck and Cara Matteliano, the winner at the 2009 Western New York Book Arts Collaborative Edible Books Contest

More on Edible Geography. Via @nicolatwilley.

“Eating Words – Winston Churchill,” by Richard Kegler, 2009 (wafer board, chocolate, Twizzlers)

Much more at the Edible Books Gallery.

The idea of cassettes: Quick rewind

Okay, so, I think I’ve more or less fully updated the monster post on The Idea of Cassettes, with the many, many suggestions and tips from readers. (Example left.) Probably I’ve missed some stuff.

Quick notes:

It looks like someone has started a Facebook page called Cassette, that seems to have been inspired by the post? I’m merely a reporter. But if you’re a cassette fan, be A Cassette Fan.

Also: It was great to see the post get noticed by MetaFilter, and Coudal (“Now that’s a blog post”), but for some reason I was particularly amazed to be noticed by Needless to say I was ID’d as “Some Guy”:

Also needless to say, the post was not a “history of the audio cassette tape.” But I’m thrilled to see it tagged “interesting.” Zero complaints.

Anyway there are a crazy number of additional items and links added to the original post. But I recommend just perusing the comments and reading what those who didn’t have a link, but had something to say. It’s really amazing, I think, how evocative the cassette clearly is to many — memories, romance, nostalgia. All from such a crummy hunk of mass-plastic!

Finally: Disquiet, which played no small role in inspiring this whole thing, happens to have a great post up that notes this cassette discussion and segues into some great info and observations about other music-object events and insights of the moment. Recommended.

Thanks again.

Pictures of stuff AND the idea of books, cont’d.

Randy Ludacer/Box Vox points to the work of Brock Davis, which includes some really great pictures of stuff taken from below. (“In designing packages,” Ludacer writes, “we usually think in terms of how a product will look “on the shelf” — but this is surely an unforeseen angle.”)

By Brock Davis; click pic for more.

Apparently Davis set out to do “One piece of creative work made every day for 365 consecutive days,” cataloging the results here. A mini-series of shots-from-underneath is just one of many ideas he explored; if you check out the full results search for “under” to see more of these. But check it all out while you’re there.

By Brock Davis. Click pic for more.

I had to include coffee mugs. And of course I have to throw in one more, since it involves books.

By Brock Davis. Click pic for more.

The idea of the book, cont’d: Converted to purse or wallet

Stendahl's novel as handbag, by Rebound Designs. Click picture for more info.

To go with necklace and ring?

Via Slog, where you can see a wallet made out of a “damaged paperback.”

(Thx: Andrew W!)

Pictures of Stuff, Cont’d.: Samples

Poppytalk has this: You can order for $59 a batch of interior design materials samples, from Stuff in its rawest form. What to do with it when you’re done? Pretty, though.

Pictures of Stuff, cont’d.

Judith Selby Lang & Richard Lang, click pic for more.

The artists write:

In 1999 we started collecting plastic debris—carrying it away by the bagful— all from Kehoe Beach, a remote stretch of the Point Reyes National Seashore, in Northern California. Certain items would catch our interest: milk jug lids, combs, toy soldiers, disposable lighters, cheese spreaders from lunch snack packs. We were attracted to things that would show by their numbers and commonness what is happening in the oceans around the world.

The plastic we continue to find is not left by visitors; it is washing up from the ocean. Back in our studios we clean, sort and categorize the pieces according to color and kind. We use the plastic to make artworks including large sculptures, installations, photo tableaus and jewelry.

This via the consistently impressive Junk Culture. Does it fit with Joshua Glenn’s “significant objects meme“? I don’t know. Nice connection here though between this work and the activities of Underwater New York, one of our S.O. collaborators.

Pictures of Stuff, cont’d.

I really have no information on this, at all.

The idea of the book, cont’d.

In all cases, you can click on the image for more info:

This Etsy seller, as I understand it, uses the virtual remains of books that are crumbling into nothingness as material to create new, hand-bound notebooks. In other words, the material nature of the book is redeemed, and extended.

Abstract Beeswax Book,” from Tocornal Design. It’s made from thread, beeswax, and “pages from 7 different sources.” Via Design*Sponge.

Garth reminds me of the work of Thomas Allen — I think I’ve highlighted it in the past, for different reasons, but I’m definitely a fan.

And Zeke points me toward the work of Quebecois artist Guy Laramée, “who sandblasts encyclopedias and then gives them evocative names.”