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"Found Magazine Celebrates the Mystery of Castoff Notes."
December 4, 2001 6:44 AM   Subscribe

"Found Magazine Celebrates the Mystery of Castoff Notes." The Washington Post calls Found "...an amazing new magazine that prints odd items found in streets, schools, prisons, Kinko's shops and laundromats across America. It's a treasury of trash, a wonderfully weird collection of screeds, snapshots, to-do lists, leaflets, drawings, diaries and love letters. Taken together, they provide a fascinating glimpse into the wackier depths of America's collective subconscious." What wonderfully weird stuff have you found?
posted by Carol Anne (32 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I have a friend who collects photos of people he doesn't know. As some one who always picks up and reads found paper, I love this.
posted by jennyb at 7:08 AM on December 4, 2001


One of my favorite web sites is The People's Photos. The user-submitted captions are hee-larious!
posted by Fofer at 7:08 AM on December 4, 2001


I posted an FPP on spillway.com a while back. They also host an incredible little interface that let's you mix scraps of random sounds and music.
posted by MrBaliHai at 7:28 AM on December 4, 2001


I used to plant "found notes." I went to a school with a very strict honor code (no drinking, no sex, etc.), and a few times I left a note for someone to find in the library. It usually was a girl telling her boyfriend that she felt guilty about them having sex with each other and that she thought that they should break up and/or confess to the proper authorities. For some reason the thought of an uptight student reading this and being appalled at it really made me happy.
posted by witchstone at 7:36 AM on December 4, 2001


I used to plant "found notes." I went to a school with a very strict honor code (no drinking, no sex, etc.), and a few times I left a note for someone to find in the library. It usually was a girl telling her boyfriend that she felt guilty about them having sex with each other and that she thought that they should break up and/or confess to the proper authorities. For some reason the thought of an uptight student reading this and being appalled at it really made me happy.
posted by witchstone at 7:42 AM on December 4, 2001 [1 favorite]


eek! sorry. bad server, bad.
posted by witchstone at 7:42 AM on December 4, 2001


witchstone? You wrote that note? Well, I never! ;-)

Now I'm thinking what other "found notes" I've enjoyed throughout the years were actually skilled forgeries. ::grumble grumble::

jennyb, I pick up and read found paper too! I feel so obsessive when I do it, wish I could stop. (Feeling obsessive, that is.)

posted by Fofer at 7:44 AM on December 4, 2001


I collect freaky religious tracts ("Jesus and the UFO invasion"), and photographs (esp. negatives).

I'm probably most pleased with a curse that someone had stuck to a building -- it's a couple paragraphs of absurd pseudo-biblical insults and prophesy. It's got everything; swords of fire coming out of the mouth of the Lord, damnation for everyone who lives in that building, etc. etc.

...but now I wonder: is collecting this stuff an indicator for some form of insanity? I don't wanna end up surrounded by junk and newspapers when I get old...
posted by aramaic at 7:50 AM on December 4, 2001 [1 favorite]


I've started a collection of bookmarks from used books I've bought (occasional photos, train tickets, flyers advertising events from decades ago).
Also, although it isn't quite 'found' stuff since I seek it out and buy it, I collect answering machine tapes from old answering machines in thrift stores.
(Also - did anybody else catch the Found Magazine reading/party at Quimby's in Chicago?)
posted by twitch at 8:13 AM on December 4, 2001 [1 favorite]


to make the self-linking-yet-pertinent post, or not to makes the self-linking-yet-pertinent post......?

heck, why not. at least i won't get beaten nearly as much as a frontpage-double-poster.

february of this year. a piece of paper near my car in the apartment parking lot. found poem.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:17 AM on December 4, 2001


The Seattle public library doesn't stamp due dates in books anymore; instead, users are given a printed receipt listing our withdrawals. The receipts make handy bookmarks, so they often are forgotten and left in returned books. Whenever I find one of these, I am privy to what the previous reader took out, in addition to whatever book we've shared. Sometimes I'm bewildered by what's on the "found' list; other times I'm tipped off to interesting reading.
posted by Carol Anne at 8:20 AM on December 4, 2001


Great link. Found art is cool.

When I was in college, I used to collect (in a notebook) wacky things that people wrote in the margins of other books. I'd include the date I found the comment, where I was, name of the book, color of the ink, the actual quote, my estimation of the the person who wrote the comment's mental state, and why it made me laugh.

Then, I lost my notebook.

I hope whomever found it has gotten as many laughs out of it as i did.
posted by ColdChef at 8:20 AM on December 4, 2001


to make the self-linking-yet-pertinent post, or not to makes the self-linking-yet-pertinent post......?

I think that it's generally agreed upon that self links are okay within a thread to illustrate a point, but are frowned on for Front Page Posts.
posted by ColdChef at 8:22 AM on December 4, 2001


My boyfriend is currently making music with samples from audiotapes of a passover seder he found on the street. He'll love this site -- thank you for the link.
posted by Badmichelle at 8:31 AM on December 4, 2001


Hmm, I wonder if anyone's told David Anthony,,,
posted by y2karl at 8:34 AM on December 4, 2001


A friend of mine once found a tape by the side of the road labeled "Audio letter to John." It was basically the guy's dad telling him he was always welcome to come home and that god loved him no matter what happened. It was kind of touching in a way, even though you could just picture "John" as he was flinging it out of his car window.
posted by transient at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2001


I keep dead keys. The keys that you occasionally find or for locks that have been changed.

Every now and then, I give them away to some travelling fool. because you never know when one of those keys will work, now do you?
posted by Dagobert at 8:47 AM on December 4, 2001


i've got a bunch of old ticket stubs -- i'm not sure why i keep them, though i do. almost all of them have a story that i remember, which is funny though true.
posted by moz at 9:12 AM on December 4, 2001


I collect people's personal propaganda -- notes posted in public places by people who don't have the means or the skills or the organization to poster. Here are some, and here's another and one more. I have about a hundred now I think, and once I get that scanner set up again, BOY. My "found" file is about 10" thick.
posted by sylloge at 9:13 AM on December 4, 2001


Outside my building, superglued to the street (or something, it sure hasn't ever moved, though, and it's been there for years) is a rubber (?) thingee, multicolored like a quilt, about 5 x 8 inches in size, that says "Toynbee idea in 2001: Move dead to Jupiter."

I've always been intrigued by that thing. But I never had the guts to touch it, or even step on it. I'm not certain I could remove it even if I wanted to, which I don't - it's lasted several years there, and it's in the middle of the street, at a busy intersection.

Super weird.
posted by UncleFes at 9:39 AM on December 4, 2001


...that rules.
posted by aramaic at 9:45 AM on December 4, 2001


Those Toynbee signs are everywhere! There's a website somewhere that lists them. I saw one just this weedend, about two blocks from the White House.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:49 AM on December 4, 2001


UncleFes: do a web search for more info ("Toynbee 2001" should do it). These things are all over the place, apparently, generally in busy intersections of large cities. (Not just the US, either!) I've personally seen them in Indianapolis and Chicago.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:51 AM on December 4, 2001


Google, and ye shall find: What is it?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:52 AM on December 4, 2001


i've got a bunch of old ticket stubs -- i'm not sure why i keep them, though i do. almost all of them have a story that i remember, which is funny though true.

Eventually, you can put them here, I'd imagine.
posted by bradlands at 10:00 AM on December 4, 2001


I collect people's personal propaganda

I have a couple of boxes full--I started collecting 'xerox' band posters in '79 after I saw what--D'oh!--psychedelic lightshow type concert posters were going for plus it was new form of commercial art...

And I started collecting the street art and crazy stuff, too.

Had no clue as to what the bands were like--"Nirvana? What kind of sucky name is that?"--and ended up selling most of the band stuff to the Experience Music Project for $$$.

Kept the outsider art and street crazy stuff. Still grab it when I see it.
posted by y2karl at 10:10 AM on December 4, 2001


I have a walled-sized photo I've been meaning to send in. I snatched it from a broken picture frame at a thrift store because it looked like a cool picture of a guy in an Easter Bunny suit, and then when I looked closer I saw that there was a miniature poodle in the bunny's lap.

I've decided the dog's name was Muffin, and the picture sat on top of the Hammond organ, where it was sure to be seen every day.
posted by stefanie at 10:23 AM on December 4, 2001


Those Toynbee signs are everywhere

Oh, dude, wtf is going on????

This totally freaks me out.
posted by UncleFes at 11:25 AM on December 4, 2001


I found this post fascinating when it was posted awhile ago. A diary of a junkie some guy found on the street.
posted by hootch at 12:30 PM on December 4, 2001


Other good found stuff: the Open Letters "Other People's Mail" issue, several This American Life episodes ("Other People's Mail," "Accidental Documentaries"), and of course Detritus.
posted by nedlog at 1:43 PM on December 4, 2001


Yeah, Fes, cool, huh? One of my favorite ways to establish cred with cool/alternative/artsy folks is to show them one of those signs. Works every time.
posted by MrMoonPie at 1:48 PM on December 4, 2001


Thanks For The Memos: looks like Michael Feldman is ripped off again!
posted by ParisParamus at 1:53 PM on December 4, 2001


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