New City Reader And The Return Of Print Media

Read All About It“, “Hot Off The Presses“, these are not the stereotypical calls of a long-gone era of children calling on street corners, they are headlines about the recent rise in popularity of print media.

In an article by Alissa Walker for, entitled There’s a Newspaper Being Made, Right Now, in a Museum, she discusses the publication that’s creating this particular buzz — New City Reader, which is also a part of the exhibit The Last Newspaper, held at the New Museum.

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Seeds in the Planters, Waiting to Grow

We finished putting soil and seeds into the magnetic planters and set them on a sunny window ledge to start germinating. We figured the planters would stand a better chance at surviving (and staying in place longer than just overnight) if there were some wildflowers starting to grow.

We also went to the downtown space and started brainstorming, but I’ll make another post on that later.

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New Magnetic Planters Field Test

Broken City Lab Magnetic Planters

Friday afternoon turned out to be more productive than I thought it would. We finished embedding all the magnets we have, which means we have 25 planters either done or drying and ended up with 3 installed on various surfaces to see if they survive the rain this weekend.

If they turn out, I’ll order some more magnets, but in the meantime we’re still working on stencils (the BCL stencil above was just a test), and we should be able to get the rest up in the next week!

Owen over at Windsor Visuals also already made a great post on Friday’s Office Hours, and some of his photos are included in this post as well.

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A Mess, But We’re Closer

planters with magnets

Danielle and I spent Wednesday afternoon making some more planters, patching up some of the planters made last Friday, and adding magnets to other planters. Hopefully by Friday these will be dry and ready for departure from my studio.

I’m anxious to see these up (and this project finished, many other things to do!)

Rare Earth Magnets + New Pulp Recipe

stronger new planter with rare earth magnets

Our recipe from the other night produced a much stronger planter, though I think there’s still room to add a coat of wheat paste to the outside. The rare earth magnets do well if there’s two, but I think the best solution will be to adhere them to the outside of the planter, or embed them in the pulp (which would make things a bit more difficult). Ideally, we’d use one magnet per planter.

This planter is about the size of a cigarette carton, but should be perfect for a sprout of wild flowers or cat grass or something more interesting, with lots of depth for the roots to do their thing. Plus, we’re now thinking that there’s a good amount of surface area to work with for some text / stenciling / recipe, etc.

Iraq War Ends: Fake New York Times

Fake New York Times - Iraq War Ends

When I first saw this pop up on the interweb a couple days ago, I kind of dismissed it. I clearly hadn’t realized the scope of this project, and how exciting it really was. The fake New York Timespaper is dated July 4, 2009, and consists of numerous articles on a brighter future where big box stores are evicted, the focus is on building a sane economy, and a maximum wage law is passed in congress.

There were 1.2 million copies of the paper printed at 6 different printing presses then shipped out to thousands of volunteers who handed out the papers for free on the streets of New York and other cities across the US. Incredibly, the printing was financed through micro-donations from the web, not unlike those collected by Obama. 

The spoof NY Times Website is well worth exploring, and the videos of the distribution are great. There’s also a blog post on the real NY Times that fill in some blanks on the background. The people behind the work include The Yes MenSteve Lambert, and some NY Times employees.