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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SM0151 ID SM0151 (photo)
Arrived 5/18/07, UPS
From Brian Brasher, Birmingham-ish, AL
Description Magical little gold guy
More info etherbrian
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

I was in a really foul mood today. Then this guy showed up. We'll swap it to someone whose contribution suggests a dark outlook on things. That'll fix them.

items depicting a fictional athletic shoe

SM0204 ID SM0204 (photo)
Arrived 6.22.07 PM, USPS
From Charles and Michael "Mickey" Maloof
Description Sheets of stickers and 1" buttons
More info McFly2015.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Our clothing, transportation, and possessions allow other people to visually identify us and categorize us into any of an ever-growing list of subcultures. Thanks to the internet, these subcultures have mutliplied and subdivided even further. Once you were lucky if there was another punk in your school to talk to, now you feel isolated because you're the only vegetarian cyberpunk on the "70s mopeds" flickr group. Manufacturers and marketers, of course, have noticed these trends and found it possible to market limited-edition goods to even the smallest demographic.

The tennis shoe industry is a good example of this, look at Zappos.com and see how many different skateboarding shoe categories there are, for instance. Shoe collectors have popped up everywhere, and some shoes sell out faster than concert tickets. We here at CP were shocked when Adidas dropped the ball on the Zissou model. Sure, Adidas couldn't have foreseen the demand, but they could have popped up an "ORDER" link on their front page to catch the buzz, and had at least a couple thousand orders, and the shoes could have been turned around and shipped in a couple months, with no marketing or distribution costs. CP alone would still buy six pairs, at least. So, Nike, here's your chance to top Adidas. It's 2007, even the "power-lacing technology" and glowing logos has got to be possible. Make some McFly2015s. By 2015, they won't be cool anymore.

Bearskinrug Sketchbook Sold Out

SM0121 ID SM0121 (photo)
Arrived 4.26.07, PM, FedEx
From Kevin Cornell, Philadelphia, PA
Description 60-page scrapbook compiled from sketches
More info Bearskinrug
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Kevin Cornell is one of our very favorite illustrator/cartoonists working anywhere, and not nearly as famous as he should (and will) be. After sending us his original illustrations for December's Fresh Signals, he told us about his piles of unpublished drawings and sketchbooks and we thought "We'd love to see them." Then, after seeing them, we though, "Man, EVERYONE would love to see these." So we asked Kevin to compile a book of some of his favorite sketches, outtakes, and notes. The final result exceeded even our high expectations. When Kevin's $150 Rizzoli coffee-table book comes out, you'll be proud to say you were "into" him back in '07 and own a signed copy of his first published sketchbook. See more of the book here.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase Sold Out
Limited-edition of 200. Kevin Cornell Swap Meat Scrapbook, 60pp, 6" x 9" perfect-bound, signed and numbered by the artist. Wrapped in kraft paper with red twine. $25 each.

Woodblock Print

SM0191 ID SM0191 (photo)
Arrived 6.9.07 PM, USPS Priority Mail
From Andrew (Andrea?) Nestor, San Antonio, TX
Description 16x13 one-color woodblock print
More info None
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

When you're staring at a computer all day, you forget that there are people out there that don't stare at computers all day. Luckily for them, there's a primitive and expressive form of communication called printmaking We're not sure how these people learned about the Swap Meat, but we're guessing there must be some sort of paper-based distribution of information going on, something like a website, but letterpressed, or something like that. Anyway, we've had a handful of entries from folks that provided us with nothing but a mailing address, and that's cool, we're still able to swap their stuff. But if they write a bit sloppily, we have no way of knowing if their name is Andrew or Andrea, or if that dot over the "n" is actually part of the name, or just a speckle in the rustic vellum on which the note is written. Woodblock printing dates back thousands of years - even before there were computers! - and Aindreaw's beautiful illustration and printmaking style evokes both medieval European and Asian techniques, though (s)he describes it as "Western Style," which has something to do with the perspective, if we remember our printmaking history from college. We're pretty sure it's a drawing of a dude buying human meat from a jester, which is something you don't see everyday. We'll write a letter to Aindreaw and see if we can get a more legitimate historical perspective.

Silver and Copper Pendant

SM0160 ID SM0160 (photo)
Arrived 5/18/07, in person
From Megan Vandehey, Chicago, IL
Description Silver and Copper pendant on silver chain
More info
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Design/advertising agencies (or whatever we are) don't generally get many "walk-in" clients, especially on the third floor of a nondescript building with no exterior sign. But we've had a few over the years. We were excited about Megan, our first "walk-in" swapper. She brought us this great pendant with a good story: "I decided the most creative way to get over [a previous relationship] was to learn how to pound, melt, pull, saw, and form metal into jewelry," she told us. Better metal than her ex-boyfriend, right? The best part about "walk-in" swappers is that they're generally willing to hold their own piece in front of the Green Wall, it's nice to have some different hands in the shot for once.

We got a few other break-up-related pieces lately, we'll dig them out and make this "break-up week."

One-Off Letterpress Print

SM0187 ID SM0187 (photo)
Arrived 6.9.07 PM, USPS
From Kirsten O'Loughlin, St. Louis, MO
Description 6x22" handmade letterpress print
More info Sensura Studio
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

We like art, we like prints, we like type, we like green. We like this. Kirsten's piece is a one-of-a-kind print made on a Vandercook No. 3 proofing press using metal letterpress characters and three colors of ink. Whenever we're talking about letterpress, BB tells the story about when was in college and spilled an entire drawer of 16-point Garamond Italic onto the concrete floor. It took him about four hours to individually check each character for chips with a magnifying glass and sort it back into the tray, without mixing up "q"s and "b"s or apostrophes and commas. Strangely, BB is still really into Garamond. Hopefully Kirsten's type case has drawer stops.

Nepal Candles Print

SM0251 ID SM0251 (photo)
Arrived 4/23/07, USPS
From Martin Ciastko, Montreal, Quebec
Description 11" x 15" photo print, mounted
More info Full Frame
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Martin Ciastko took this photo in 2004 in the Bouddhnath Temple near Kathmandu, Nepal. It shows a deep field of burning candles made from ghee or clarified butter. The seemingly infinite composition and the way it is focused suggested its spiritual nature before we ever read Martin's accompanying note. Of his photography collected online Martin says "...it's humble now, but with great aspirations." Given what we've seen, it seems likely those aspirations will be satisfied, as will the fortunate Swapper who receives this signed and numbered print in the mail.

Candykiller Print Sold Out

SM0277 ID SM0277 (photo)
Arrived 5.22.07, AM (USPS Global)
From Brian Taylor, Dundee, Scotland
Description 2-color letterpress print, 8" x 10"
More info Candykiller
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

It must have been preordained that we offer a Swap Meat exclusive from Brian Taylor. We've been following his work forever, since XL5 Design and Rustboy, and the other day, while browsing at Rotofugi, the Chicago designer toy store, we came across one of Brian's Candykiller books. We wrote to tell him and he responded that on the very same day he had packed up some stuff and sent it to us. This print is punched into the yellow/olive-ish paper via traditional letterpress in two colors. There are only twenty available. We'll include a bit of other Candykiller swag in the package and purchasers of this will get the first shot at an oversized, sure-to-sell-out screen print we're producing for Brian from this fabulous illustration.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase Sold Out
Limited-edition of 20 from an original run of 200, 8" x 10" in two colors, signed and numbered by the artist. Purchasers of this print earn the right of first refusal on another Brian Taylor print that's currently in production.

Cleaning Machines

SM0246 ID SM0246 (photo)
Arrived 5/4/07, USPS
From Bob Bernstein, Nashville, TN
Description Handmade book, 11"x11", 14pp
More info BongoJava.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

While some swappers have stretched our requirement to send only items "made for yourselves," others have sent immensely personal items, and this is one of our favorites. Susan Dvora Bernstein wrangled her three boys into clean-up duty with a song "Cleaning Machines," which she wrote herself. Many years later, her son Bob asked his friend Kurt Lightner to illustrate the song as a birthday gift. The illustrations were so popular, Bob turned the song into a book with some help from Nashville printshop Isle of Printing. His mother writes: "I always wondered what my three sons would remember about their childhood… The cleaning lesson may not have stayed with them. However the more important lessons of creativity and imagination have endured." Vocation-wise, Bob is roasting coffee, some of which he sent along with the book.

Wall Doll

SM0113 ID SM0113 (photo)
Arrived 4/24/07 PM (Postes Canada)
From Mia Hansen, Vancouver BC
Description Orange plush kitty, 8" tall
More info miahansen.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Mia Hansen, a Vancouver-based illustrator/designer, sent a plush "wall doll" of her mascot Ari Cat (and she's made many others as well). BB seems to be sort of irrationally attached to it, but he's got a doctor appointment tomorrow, and MS knows where he's hiding it, so there's still hope it'll go out to a lucky swapper, and we won't have to hear any more BB baby-talk, which is frankly kind of creepy.

Jay Ryan Art Print Sold Out

SM0245 ID SM0245 (photo)
Arrived 5.11.07, AM, Hand Delivered
From Jay Ryan, Chicago, IL
Description Hand Screened 23" x 35" Print
More info The Bird Machine
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

We've followed and admired Jay Ryan's art for quite some time, witness our mini-doc on his working process called 6 Colors, 1,800 Pulls and 2 Dogs. When Jay volunteered to create an art print exclusively for the Swap Meat we didn't even bother to ask what it was going to be. We just said, "Yes, please." A couple weeks later Jay showed up at our studio with a large kraft-wrapped bundle he called a "burrito full of prints" and when we unwrapped it in the conference room Bryan whistled, Jim whispered "holy shit" and Jay smiled. As with most of these things, the photos don't do it near justice, it's a powerful, rich, layered composition and, oh yeah, it's a cat on a bike.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase Sold Out
Limited-edition of just 40 prints available out of a one-time edition of 100, the balance are headed for Jay's subscribers and his files. Created with nine screens including four different greens and four blacks. the large 23" x 35" prints are signed and numbered by the artist. $75 each.

Perpetual Calendar Sold Out

SM0042 ID SM0042 (photo)
Arrived 3.26.07, PM, USPS
From Erin Zamrzla, Hays, KS
Description Hand-printed perpetual calendar on luggage tags
More info erinzam.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

As noted earlier, the Gocco print has been well-represented in the Swap Meat, one of our favorite Gooco pieces is Erin Zamrzla's perpetual calendar. Each month is hand-printed in two colors on one side of the tag with a grid on the back for the dates. The tags are packaged with a pencil in a handsomely printed envelope. The artwork is all based on antique borders and labels from Erin's research. The result: The arbitrary labels we use to track time become physical labels. It makes a great desk calendar, or the tags can be individually affixed to objects, as reminders of deadlines, anniversaries, or birthdays. We asked Erin to change up some colors and designs to produce a special Swap-Meat-only series.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase
Limited-edition of 50. Twelve 6 1/4"x 3" tags, hand-printed on both sides in various colors. Packaged in hand-printed envelope, signed and numbered by the artist. Includes pencil and instructions. $35 each. Sold 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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