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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Handmade Journals

SM0040 ID SM0040 (photo)
Arrived 3.26.07, PM (USPS)
From Judy Lee, Brooklyn, NY
Description Two handmade journals, 5"x7.5"x.5"
More info Five and a Half
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

We've received a few journals, and even entered the highly-competitive journal market with the DDC, but Judy's Five and a Half series of journals are quite fantastic, they feature perfect-bound sugarcane and recycled papers with artful covers, and include a pocket for notes or receipts. She offers several designs, but we're partial to the two she sent, one features her husband's photography, and the other is a tribute to everyone's favorite noodle dude, Momofuku Ando.

L'il Discs

SM0029 ID SM0029 (photo)
Arrived 3.22.07, PM (USPS)
From Mike & Karen Langlie, Lowell, MA
Description Five 3" CDs
More info lildiscs.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

3" CDs enjoyed a very brief popularity in the late 80s, but we've only seen a handful since, maybe because of the rise of the slot-loading drive. The Swap Meat apparently brought the 3-inchers out of hiding, we got 'em from no less than three swappers. Lildiscs sent five such discs, their entire catalog, lovingly packaged in hand-made sleeves featuring photo corners, ribbons, and ID tags. The music is what you'd call "Experimental," mostly live recordings of unusually-arranged-and-recorded orchestra instruments droning away beautifully. The DCD fans out there will love 'em, as would anyone who finds Einstuerzende Neubauten calming. (What!? I do!). Good stuff.

Afro Woodcut

SM0027 ID SM0027 (photo)
Arrived 3.22.07, PM (USPS)
From Imin Yeh, Bethesda, MD
Description 4-color woodblock print, 8"x11"
More info Iminyeh
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Imin's woodcut, according to her site, is titled "Bananas: Yellow on the Outside, White on the Inside." We love the print, but we're going to fall back on the art-critic cop-out and quote her artist's statement: "…Printmaking allows me to commercially exploit my own cultural identity in order to directly confront dominant society's cultural fetishism; the imposition of exotic 'otherness'; and the exploitation and commodification of culture." Come on, we've all written those things, everyone knows if you want to know more about an artist, check out her MySpace page Mmmm, Gojo! Now we're talking.

Pawtucket T-shirt

SM0025 ID SM0025 (photo)
Arrived 3.22.07, PM (FedEx)
From Jeremy Withers, Pawtucket, RI
Description "Pawtucket turns me on" t-shirt, size L
More info email Schwadesign
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

Civic pride is a big deal for most designers, and Pawtucket, RI-based Schwadesign is no exception. Their take on the classic "Virginia is for Lovers" campaign says so much ("We work hard in the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution, but we're also sexy, and not too proud to use Brush Script") with only four words and two colors. Jeremy points out the wearer of the shirt must "pronounce it with as few syllables as possible: 'p'tucket.' Never 'paw-tuck-it.' That's how we recognize the out-of-towners."

Daring Fireball Shirt Sold Out

SM0081 ID SM0081 (photo)
Arrived 4.12.07, AM (UPS)
From Philadelphia, PA
Description Ringer T-Shirt, mustard/navy
More info Daring Fireball
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

As a way for a writer, our good friend John Gruber of Daring Fireball, to get in on the swapping, we've created a one-time-only edition of his classic Daring Fireball tee. It's a circa-1979-style ringer in mustard and navy, and when they are sold out, that's it, this shirt will never be made again. These are ChromeZone preshrunk 100% cotton tees with loopy stitching. They look great now but will look even better after a dozen washings. You will, however, need to provide your own short-shorts and tube socks to complete the look. If you're not a DF member, buying this shirt makes you one. If you are, it tacks an extra year on the end of your current subscription. If you don't read Daring Fireball daily, start now.

Swap Meat Exclusive: Available For Purchase Sold Out
Limited-edition of only 75 (25 each M, L, XL). Includes 1-year DF membership.

Toy Piano Music

SM0011 ID SM0011 (photo)
Arrived 3.21.07, PM (USPS)
From Mike Langlie, Lowell, MA
Description Series of compact discs, booklets, pin
More info twink.net
Swapped for SM0021
Status Swapped

Mike collects toy pianos and (with the help of other musician friends) has released several albums as Twink "The Toy Piano Band." As the parents of several youngsters between us, listening to five albums' worth of toy instruments seemed daunting. Not to worry: in Mike's hands, out-of-tune playthings come together in a wide variety of styles, ranging from the clinky clatter you'd expect all the way to layered techno instrumentals and mashups of vintage kids' records. Twink's site features nine songs to give you the idea of his range, plus a Devo cover(!). Some might argue that ten songs is all the Twink you'd ever need, but one of these discs might "fall off the truck" and end up in our collection, maybe it'll inspire our kids to practice more. Did we mention that the artwork is as superb and varied as the music?

Crown Hall Kirigami

SM0014 ID SM0014 (photo)
Arrived 3.22.07, AM (UPS)
From Jeff Rutzky, NYC, NY
Description A schload of stuff, mostly origami-related
More info Kirigami photos
Swapped for SM0143, NY Photo
Status Swapped

Jeff Rutzky is a perpetual CP contest entrant/winner, so his name was well-known around the office, but we had no idea what he was all about. He sent us a giant box full of client work (a Swap Meat no-no!), and his books about origami. CP hearts origami, though we've never figured out the "Fujimoto Approximation Technique." But the crown jewel (pun intended) was nearly lost in the giant pile of stuff: a Kirigami sculpture of Mies van der Rohe's Crown Hall, our favorite building. He could have thrown that in a #10 envelope and saved himself a lot of postage. (Not that we don't appreciate his work for Playboy and the Weekly World News.)

Leukemia Walk Poster

SM0016 ID SM0016 (photo)
Arrived 3.21.07 PM (USPS)
From Dan Herwig, Milwaukee, WI
Description Silkscreen Poster, 12"x16"
More info Colloquial.org
Swapped for SM0043
Status Swapped

When Dan Herwig's mom was diagnosed with Leukemia last year, he joined Team In Training and ran the Chicago Marathon to raise money for research. Hand-pulling this print as a bonus for donors, Dan raised over $2000, and his mother's Leukemia is in remission. Proof, once again, that screenprinting is good medicine.

Bat Pack

SM0013 ID SM0013 (photo)
Arrived 3.21.07, PM (USPS)
From Amy Rath, Zion, IL
Description "Bat Pack" and black purse
More info The Rose Room
Swapped for SM0010, A Kotodama CD
Status Swapped

It turns out that Dead Can Dance fans, or "Elves" as we've come to call them around the office, are rabid swappers, many of our entries have come from folks who found us via DCDdiscs.com. Amy's "Bat Pack" (one of three she hand-made) was created in the lull between grad school and the birth of her next-generation DCD fan. She also sent a lovely black velvet and vinyl handbag.

Magazine Envelopes

SM0004 ID SM0004 (photo)
Arrived 3.19.07, PM (FedEx)
From Anne Pradenas, San Francisco, CA
Description Handmade Envelopes, 3 Packets of 6
More info email Anne
Swapped for SM0128, Kick Ass Dolly
Status Swapped

Anne collects images from magazines, then makes them into envelopes, or to use envelope-manufacturing terminology, she "converts" them, adding white labels to provide space for address and return address. Each bundle of six envelopes is wrapped with a paper band, and all were packed in a snowflake-print mylar bag. Some of these just might get used to send out small Swap Meat items.

Striped Bug

SM0172 ID SM0172 (photo)
Arrived5.18.07 AM, FedEx
From Lizette Greco, Sequim, WA
Description Colorful 6" plush insect
More info lizettegreco.com
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

CP readers know we've been fearing the cicada invasion for a couple years now. Now that it's here, since we all live in the city, we've only seen a handful of the thumb-sized red-eyed buzzing insects, which is fine with us. (DW's suburban scooter ride last week was the only real horror story so far). We just don't love bugs, is all. But this little guy is pretty cool as far as bugs, go, MS even let it sit on her shoulder for a minute (but only a minute.) Lizette and her family make soft toys based on the kids' drawings. In this case, her six-year old Enzo drew a series of bugs and Lizette stiched this one up using recycled materials (a pair of wool pants, thrift store fabrics, wire, felt, and lint stuffing recycled from a diaper service. We've named him Enzo, and we'll actually be a little sad to see him go back out into the big Swap Meat world.

Circuit-Bent Furby

SM0180 ID SM0180 (photo)
Arrived 6.9.07 PM, USPS
From Saul Mandel, Middleton, WI
Description 6" tall annoy-bot
More info Saul's site
Swapped for TBD
Status at CP

As if Hasbro's Furby isn't creepy enough, Wisconsin artist Saul Mandel has been circuit-bending the "emoto-tronic friends" into avant-anarcho-musical instruments. Saul strips off the fur (leaving a wispy blue tuft "to remind you of grandma") and adds a series of buttons that, along with the original belly and back buttons, interactively mutate the Furby's cutesy mutterings into a wild screech of electronic mayhem. He's even added a 1/8" audio jack so you can patch the fun right into your mixing board. Just like your real friends, this little guy is annoying, creepy, and funny as all-get-out. It's hard to describe just how awesome it is, but this video may help. You'll wonder how you ever got through life without one.

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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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