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#a433 :: Potato chip

April 25, 2009

Her: Dad, is this a heavy little object? Me: Yep.

Filed under: Edible, Found Object, Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a423 :: Marah Macrocarpeae

April 15, 2009

Or at least that’s what this blog points to. Wild cucumber tastes and looks nothing like its namesake. It is a 4-inch-long, egg-shaped handful of misery, with cactusy spines that puncture your skin if you grip it too tightly. A taste of the juice inside (for they prove to be very juicy when dissected with […]

Filed under: Found Object, Green, Life form | Comments (0)

#a421 :: Paper sculpture

April 13, 2009

I delight in finding the delight my children find in simple acts of creation. Paper is an adventure. Fold it and make a city, a castle, a world. A couple of these things have been floating around the house this week. I have no idea what they are. All I know is that my son […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Found Object, Toy | Comments (0)

#a420 :: 1-inch hex nut

April 12, 2009

I stumbled across this at Pasadena City College Swap Meet last Sunday. The college seems to be in a constant state of construction, and someone ha dropped it in the grass – a missing part for a mystery structure. It put me in mind of this Todd Rundgren song, the lyrics of which go something […]

Filed under: Found Object, Part, steel, Tool | Comments (0)

#a418 :: Volkswagen badge

April 10, 2009

Found this in the gutter down the street. Somewhere, a VW – a new one, by the make of the silkscreened aluminum – is driving around without an identity. Is the badge the seat of a car’s soul?

Filed under: Adornment, Fetish, Found Object, symbol | Comments (0)

#a394 :: Mystery gizmo

March 16, 2009

Every now and then a mystery washes up out of the ceaseless surf of crap inundating this house. What is this? It has the precise curves and clean-milled transparent plastic of an Appleproduct, but has a vinyl flap-valve at its center. No one in my family can explain it.

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Part | Comments (0)

#a390 :: Skullpture

March 12, 2009

My good friend Yaron built this out of some stuff he had lying around the shop and what I’m guessing is a deer skull. I love the way the metal shavings (springs?) he mounted the socket on echo the sutures between the bone plates. Write your own microfiction for it below in the comments – […]

Filed under: Art, Found Object, Life form | Comments (0)

#a375 :: Grass frond

February 25, 2009

I walked back to the house this morning after dropping the kids at school. I brushed the foliage outside our house with my hand. This came loose. Keeping my rhythm so I could square up head-on with the workday, I stuck it into a clutch of hibernating agapanthus and kept cruising down the front steps […]

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a370 :: crushed putty

February 20, 2009

Guest post from my son, 9. This silly putty was found under my shoe after sitting there for a few days. The long line down the middle is from the shoelace under the shoe. The other part with the ridges is from the pattern on the sole of the shoe. It’s kind of squishy, but […]

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a358 :: Palm fragment

February 7, 2009

Los Angeles jetsam reminds me daily that I live in a freakish magpie’s nest of a city. Stolen from aboriginal people by Spanish missionaries who gave huge chunks of it away to soldiers, whose families then sold it off in ever-decreasing slices and slivers, Los Angeles has always been shaped by grabbers, opportunists and self-reinventors. […]

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a354 :: Club flyer

February 3, 2009

I picked this up from dozens I found scattered on the sidewalk in downtown L.A. the other day. I’m not sure which pisses me off more: that someone blew the cash to have flyers for a one-time event printed in four colors and chromekote only to have someone else throw them all over the ground […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Found Object, Jetsam | Comments (0)

#a353 :: Organiser badge

February 2, 2009

The origins of this piece are dim and inscrutable, but what really matters is this: My father just shipped me two small boxes full of HLOs gathered from around the house, and among them are some real beauties like this: He found this in London a long time ago and gave it to my mother […]

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera, Found Object, symbol | Comments (0)

#a347 :: Eraser

January 27, 2009

This rode home in a goodie bag from a birthday party at my son’s school. I love the millefiore design aesthetic, which makes me wonder if mistakes vanish more easily when rubbed with yellow rubber or blue.

Filed under: Found Object, Tool | Comments (0)

#a322 :: Knife

January 1, 2009

A New Year’s Day hike through the Angeles National Forest. Right about here, I walked through a picnic ground and spotted this knife flattened into the mud. Raw-boned, Pakistani-made, its four-inch blade is sharp, held tight between the brass sides. Someone dropped it one night around the fire, everyone else trampled it into the earth […]

Filed under: Found Object, Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a317 :: Bluetooth and coyote jaw

December 27, 2008

I rarely post two distinct objects together – usually it’s a thing or a group of like things. But these two landed on my desk last night – a gift from my son and a piece of office equipment (you decide which) and they spoke to one another.

Filed under: Adornment, Found Object, Life form, symbol, Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a309 :: Lug nut

December 19, 2008

I’ve been cleaning the office. We’re having a party. I found this.

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Part, Tool, weapon | Comments (0)

#a308 :: Urban humus

December 18, 2008

A pocketful of stuff from my morning ride, which takes me up a fire road through Griffith Park to to a little copse of live oak at the top of a big hill. I hang from the biggest tree by my hands to stretch my spine a bit after the long climb. Then I touch […]

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)

#a307 :: St. Petersburg Times parking card

December 17, 2008

I began my working life as a newspaper reporter. My second job, at the St. Petersburg Times went not too well. I wrote a few good things, but at 24 I was too green and not enterprising enough, so they let me go. Anyway, it was a big, impressive paper in a big, impressive industry, […]

Filed under: Ephemera, Found Object, Jetsam, symbol, Tool | Comments (0)

#a296 :: 4H Pin

December 6, 2008

California is a land of exiles. For that reason – among many others – I love it. Anyone not born here has come to explore, to self-reinvent, to escape forces of oppression or boredom or hopelessness left behind. This westward tide has flowed for centuries, pulling wave upon wave of Spaniards, gold-rushers, dust-bowled Okies, Sinaloan […]

Filed under: Adornment, Artifact, Ephemera, Found Object, symbol | Comments (0)

#a294 :: Ideal “Powermite” orbital sander

December 4, 2008

In 1969, the Ideal Toy company came out with a line of fully operational miniature powertools that plugged into battery supplies built into their small carrying cases. This “Powermite” sander is about three inches long by two inches tall and less than an inch wide, and came with little sheets of sandpaper, which clamped onto […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Miniature, Tool, Toy | Comments (0)

#a293 :: Shoe

December 3, 2008

Dammit. The little fuckers have been partying under my desk again. I’m finding tiny shoes. There are nasty scuff-marks on the wall about an inch off the floor, and wet spots in my shoes. Someone punched a dime-sized hole in the sheetrock, and there’s a one-square-foot patch of the floor reeking of small beer.

Filed under: Adornment, Ephemera, Found Object, Jetsam, Toy | Comments (0)

#a285 :: Toy compass

November 25, 2008

Were you lost in the wilderness, this would not help you out. Its needle swings wildly, influenced by the pulse of your hand, the mass of nearby metal, the wind, the whims of its Chinese manufacturers. It is a toy, smaller in diameter than a quarter, and if you put it down on the burning […]

Filed under: Facsimile, Found Object, Instrument, symbol | Comments (0)

#a284 :: Pirate doubloon

November 24, 2008

Down at the other end of the mock-currency spectrum, plastic doubloons are minted in China by the chestful to lend that yo-ho-ho feeling to your kid’s birthday party. I found this in the grass at a park today at another kid’s birthday party, while watching yet another birthday party setting up. The trappings – and […]

Filed under: Artifact, Ephemera, Found Object, symbol, Toy | Comments (0)

#a283 :: Million-dollar bill bible tract

November 22, 2008

This fine object puts the specie in specious: Someone at the Christian organization worked very, very hard on this piece of counterfeit. The four-color printing and gravure work are fine anough to pass the “holy, shit, WTF is that” moment after you’ve picked it up and still can’t believe it’s not money – that […]

Filed under: Art, Ephemera, Fetish, Found Object, Microfiction, Model, symbol, Tool | Comments (1)

#a282 :: Seed pod

November 22, 2008

It erupts in a fur of orange, from a black pod. The skin is avocado-like. The seed is barely a quarter-inch in diameter. And it mystifies me.

Filed under: Found Object, Jetsam, Life form | Comments (0)