Friday, January 15, 2010

Curb Mining: Looting Designer Chairs in NYC?

Saw this at Wall Street Journal, an experiment in curb mining, which is, per the New York Times and WSJ, "searching the sidewalks for discarded goods, such as furniture and electronics." Both articles are talking about Blue Dot, a furniture maker, and Mono, a marketing firm's “Real Good Experiment."
The maker of a designer chair put a couple dozen of its chairs out in the streets of New York, free for the taking. The only catch? GPS was hidden on the chairs, and a film crew would videotape the swipe and monitor where the chairs ended up. WSJ's Andy Jordan surveys the results of the "Real Good Experiment". (WSJ)
On its site, a video about tinkering and creating high-tech gadgets with 3-D printers follows the curb mining video, and it is equally intriguing.

The curb mining video reminds me of how my uncle, an artist in New Orleans, used to pick interesting objects out of trash on the streets to use in his work. So, bottle caps might show up later as eyes in a piece. I think that was a type of "found art."

Curb mining, despite its trendy name, has been going on for decades. However, one man in the video says curb mining seems to have increased during the recession.

1 comment:

msladydeborah said...

In my neighborhood it is socially unacceptable not to place perfect good items out for others to acquire. I live in an area that has been totally re gentrified.

I cleaned out my storage space in my building. I put a number of items outside by the trash cans. While I was bringing up items a man pulled up in a truck and got out. He asked if I was getting rid of the items and I told him that I was. He started to cry. This response surprised me.

While he wiped his tears he told me that he had just returned from serving in Desert Storm. His wife had left him and their three daughters after he had returned. The brother had limited funds and he was trying to decorate his daughter's room. I had put out a print of a Black ballerina, a CD player that was not functioning right, some piece of furniture and other items. He took every piece. I told him that the CD player was not playing discs properly. He assured me that he could and would repair the player.

He thanked me over and over. I was glad that the items that I could no longer use could bring some form of comfort to someone else.

This is nothing new. My bff lived in NYC and she was forever picking up perfectly good items from off of the curbside.

Now that the WSJ has given this a brand name-I wonder if the practice will expand?

He had been in the military and