What's All This Then?

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What's All This Then?

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Friday Edition

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The Swap Meat

Read the four things that can happen when you send us something for swapping and learn how you can get involved. Selected items are featured here and the deadline for swapping has been extended through the summer. Yay! Keep 'em coming.

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15 Blind Boxes Sold Out

SM0192 ID SM0192 (photo)
Arrived 6.9.07 PM, USPS
From Douglas Wilson, Springfield, MO
Description 4.5" x 4.5" x 8" box of ephemera
More info On Paper Wings
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Remember as a kid when you'd find a box of miscellaneous stuff at your grandparent's house? You didn't know what any of it was and nothing seemed to have any specific connection to your life that you were aware of at the time, but it was still somehow fascinating to sit there and leaf through the yellowed scraps of paper, photographs and clippings from the newspaper. That's a lot like what Douglas Wilson sent us for Swapping. It's a wooden cigar box filled to the brim with everything from a bridge point calculator by Charles H. Goren, the 'World's No. 1 Ranking Bridge Player,' a 1946 postcard from River Gorge, Colorado, an educational film strip about Mark Twain and countless aged pieces of paper. As a whole, there's no cohesive purpose for them to all be packaged together. But we defy you not to open the box and instantly find yourself slowly handling each and every piece with a delicate, quiet reverence.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase Sold Out
Limited-edition of only 15. Hand-selected ephemera, assembled in a beautiful wooden box exclusively for The Swap Meat. There's no telling what you'll get but judging by the one we received there's no chance you'll be disappointed either. Signed, numbered and custom-shipped by the artist.

Little Jim

SM0238 ID SM0238 (photo)
Arrived 7.27.07, PM (USPS
From Jill Lynch, Vancouver, WA
Description Two 18" plush dolls
More info Dolls For Friends
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Upon opening this package, despite the fact that the doll doesn't really look much like JC, it was somehow instantly and absolutely obvious to BB that it was JC, even before noticing the Coudal totebag. In fact, BB was just about to say, "Jim, this looks like you" when he saw the tag attached identifying it as such. JC insists he'd never wear a rag wool turtleneck and grey slacks, but we bet if we suggested said outfit to Mrs. Coudal, she'd totally make JC at least try it on. So anyway, you can be sure that doll's not getting traded, we'll keep it hidden away until he brings his kids to the office, or until Zeldman brings his doll over to play. The other example of Jill's craftwomanship, "Mr. Designer, is going up for the Swap, even though we're totally enamored with his assymetry (the legs and arms exit the torso in pretty much random directions) and his white and red Adidas. Man, these rule, thanks Jill.

Clunky Robot

SM0166 ID SM0166 (photo)
Arrived5.23.07 PM, UPS
From Christian Danley, Atlanta, GA
Description 21"x6" painted wooden panel
More info Clunky Robot
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

A lot of times you can tell there's going to be something good inside a package just by the shape of it. Such was the case when we got a slim box the dimensions of a wheel-less child-sized skateboard. "What could it be?" we collectively asked one another. Then one of us remembered that to see inside a box one needs to open it. What we found inside was a beautifully painted image of an extremely happy robot, Clunky, waving at us from the moon or some distantly remote planet. We also got a note included, reading, "My name is Christian and this is my submission to the Swap Meat. It's the fifth in a series called 'Scrap Art,' which consists of paintings done on scraps of found wood. This painting is done on a slat from the bottom of an old wine box." We were happy to find that Clunky lives on elsewhere, beyond just this single piece of wood, over at Christian's Clunky Robot site.

Red Pants Journal

SM0032 ID SM0032 (photo)
Arrived 3.26.07, PM (USPS)
From Gibson Holub, Seattle, WA
Description Spiral-bound book outlining pants experience
More info 30 Days in Red Pants
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

We have a little saying around the office, "Never trust anyone wearing red pants." We'll make an exception for Gibson, who wore the same pair of 34x30 Haggar red denim pants for 30 days straight. He calls it "Performance Art," we call it "Exhibitionism," but who cares what you call it, it makes for good reading. "DAY 16: I rode the motorcycle to work again. Several people at work have decided that the RED PANTS have something to do with a hockey bet. That suits me just fine becuase the questions have died down."

Vintage Reel-to-Reel Prints

SM0087 ID SM0087 (photo)
Arrived 4.17.07, AM (delivery)
From Rod Hunting, Chicago, IL
Description Vintage Tape Deck Posters, 19" x 25"
More info rodhunting.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Rod Hunting's Vintage Camera Poster was the very first item we received for the Swap Meat, the first item we agreed to commission as a Swap Meat Exclusive (actually inspiring the idea), and as of this afternoon, the first item to sell out. We knew Swap fans would be hungry for more, so we asked Rod to come up with a new poster. Exceeding our expectations again, he printed a pair of posters featuring vintage reel-to-reel decks. We absolutely guarantee hanging either of these posters over your stereo will make your system sound better, and both of them will make it possible to hear notes you never heard before.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase
Limited-edition of only 100 (each design). 19"" x 25" Hand-Screened in dark blue on French Construction Steel Blue 100lb cover, signed and numbered by the artist. If you order both, you'll get matching-numbered prints and save $15!
Print 1 (no reels): Sold Out
Print 2 (with reels): Sold Out
Both prints (save $15): Sold Out

Bacon Scarf

SM0148 ID SM0148 (photo)
Arrived 5/7/07, USPS
From Tamara Shopshin, NYC
Description A, scarf, that, looks, like, BACON.
More info Shopshin's General Store
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

You'd think this would be getting old by now. You'd think we'd actually sort of groan when MS comes up the stairs with another armload of Priority Mail cartons. To be honest, the paperwork is grueling, but we haven't lost our idealistic giddyness for one single moment, because every day brings more amazing stuff, and you just never know when you're going to open a package and find a lovingly-butcher-paper-wrapped BACON SCARF. It's hard to explain just how much BB loves bacon. He's not one of those Bacon-Of-The-Month-Club showoffs bragging about his applewood-smoked bacon from Guatamala, he's just a dude who loves nothing more than salty fatty meat, especially on a sesame bagel with an egg and some cheese. BB also happens to be a soccer fan and owns a couple dozen colorful acrylic scarves already. So suffice to say, BB is the target market for a bacon scarf, if ever there was one. God bless you, Tamara Shopshin. (Check out her awesome General Store.)

Pinhole Photos

SM0201 ID SM0201 (photo)
Arrived 6.22.07 PM, USPS
From Emily Long, Chicago, IL
Description (3) 3.5x2" photos on wood blocks
More info Deep Blue Skies
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

A wise man with an amazing voice once said, "every picture tells a story." We're all disappointed by that wise man's recent recordings, but he had a point. Here are three stories, simply told through the simplest photographic technology imaginable: a box, a hole, and some film. The first is a shed in southern Cook County, IL., the middle one is a hotel in Cologne, and the last is the Union Stockyard gate in Chicago. Three very different places, all connected by a woman standing very still for a couple minutes and hoping she got the exposure right.

Fortis est Veritas Nicho

SM0043 ID SM0043 (photo)
Arrived 3.26.07, PM (USPS)
From Pinkey Bethyl, San Francisco, CA
Description hand-made cardboard "nicho," 5"x5"x2.5"
More info email Pinkey
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

This small "nicho," a decorated box used as an altar or memorial, is another of the many Swap Meat items that we're going to have a really hard time sending away to a stranger. We'll let Pinkey tell his own story: "When I started this nicho, it was called 'My Sister-in-Law is a Hoochie,' but as I worked on it I started to think about why I was so mad at my sister-in-law, and what I was seeing in her that I see and dislike in myself, and so eventually this nicho became about forgiveness and self-reflection. I like to use Latin or Spanish in my nichos and the Latin on this one says 'The Truth Is Strong' which is now the title of this nicho."

Sokoloff Photo Print

SM0221 ID SM0121 (photo)
Arrived 5.1.07, AM, FedEx
From Marshall Sokoloff, Vancouver, BC
Description Limited-edition photo print
More info Blurbism
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Marshall Sokoloff is based in Vancouver but spends a good deal of his time on the road, in pursuit of images. His latest group of photographs, to be featured shortly in a Gallery Series for The Morning News, were made in and around the bleak, arid region known as The Salton Sea near Desert Shores California. Marshall's best-known work is abstract and elegiac. Highly structured, full-frame details and textures are dominant. His Salt and Sugar series are good examples. The image featured here applies a similar rigorous attention to the geometry of decay, but applies it to a sun-baked landscape. One of these prints will be swapped and 25 others are offered as a special limited-edition.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase
Limited-edition of 25. Marshall Sokoloff 'Salton Sea' Photo Print, 14" x 21" image on 17" x 22" Premium Lustre Archival Paper, Giclee Print, signed and numbered on the reverse by the artist. $90 each. SOLD OUT

MetaFilter Shirt span class="meat">Sold Out

SM0139 ID SM0139 (photo)
Arrived 5.7.07, PM, Via Truck
From Matt Haughey, McMinnville, OR
Description MeFi Blue Tee with Logotype
More info MetaFilter
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

OK, we searched through all the archives and we're confident this is not a repost. We are however aware that it is a self-link, but frankly given the nature of the Swap Meat, what isn't? As with our sold-out Daring Fireball tee, we're trying to open up the swapping to writers and communities, as well as artists. The next item in that effort is the first-ever MetaFilter tee shirt. It's done up simply and we matched the blue as closely as we could to the official #006699 MeFi hexadecimal color. We'll swap one of each size and are offering for purchase the rest of this one-time edition. When they're gone, they're gone.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase
Limited-edition of 360. 119 each (after swapping) of Medium, Large and XL. Fruit of the Loom Pacific Blue BestT with White and MeFi Yellow logo on the front. SOLD OUT

Yardstick Guitar Strap

SM0089 ID SM0089 (photo)
Arrived 4.13.07 PM (USPS)
From Mike & Melissa LeFevre, Portland, OR
Description Guitar Strap w/ "Pick Pocket"
More info Handmade and Helluxv Rad
Swapped for TBD
Status on BB's Kalamazoo, next to his desk

It's always nice when we get swaps that are cool looking and serve a utilitarian purpose too. Form follows function and all that. We are having a hard time imagining a situation where you'd need to determine the length of something at the same time you were playing lead guitar, but who knows? We'll swap this beauty for one of the heart-felt, home-cooked, jangly-guitar albums we hope to receive soon.

Resist Today Tee

SM0206 ID SM0206 (photo)
Arrived 7.01.07 PM, USPS
From Josh + Dave of Tampa FL
Description Silk-screened Tee Shirt
More info Resist Today
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

We're suckers for anything that has octopus-tentacled, monkey-handed, fly-winged, cat-pawed, siamese-twin Gilbert & Sullivanesque magicians on it, so it's no wonder we're featuring this tee from Resist Today. Operating in Tampa as Red Labor, Josh and Dave present a sweet collection of items for sale and also publish an art blog that we fully intend to pilfer for links from here on out.

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What We're Up To

Check the Museum of Online Museums (MoOM) or our summer reading feature, Field-Tested Books. Or you can read a mostly unsuccessful attempt at explaining ourselves or just start on the Cover Page.

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