Posts tagged significant objects

TURN THE PAGE: Questions about Significant Objects. Answers from Rob Walker.

katelancunningham:

We’ve all curated our belongings into a museum of who we are now. What doesn’t make the cut may have ended up at a thrift shop, destined to be picked up by the right person and get a new story. Writers Rob Walker and Joshua Glenn are the right people and the brains behind Significant…

significobs:


Part Sentimental Value, part MacGuffinism, Significant Objects reminds us of the storiness of our lived materiality — of the artifacts we imbue with meaning, with loves and losses, with hopes and desperations.

Check it out, we made this list!: The Best Design Books of 2012 | Brain Pickings

significobs:

Part Sentimental Value, part MacGuffinism, Significant Objects reminds us of the storiness of our lived materiality — of the artifacts we imbue with meaning, with loves and losses, with hopes and desperations.

Check it out, we made this list!: The Best Design Books of 2012 | Brain Pickings

significobs:

“Objects of Our Desire: Richelle Parham,” for the Future of StoryTelling 2012 (by Charles Melcher)

This nicely produced video, largely about Significant Objects but also about eBay and storytelling, features our contributors Ben Greenman, Toni Schlesinger, John Wray, Sari Wilson, and Charles Ardai — all doing a better job explaining the project and its meaning than we ever have! Plus they read from their stories. Pretty cool.

Film Synopsis

The rise of e-commerce has made the buying and selling of products and merchandise easier than ever, but the proliferation of choices in an increasingly crowded marketplace poses an immense challenge for companies. “Customers have a lot of distractions,” says Richelle Parham, the chief marketing officer of eBay North America. “… It’s important to build strong contact strategies.”

Stories, says Parham in this eye-opening film, are essential for establishing those contacts.

A recent literary and anthropological experiment called Significant Objects illustrates Parham’s point vividly. For the project, objects of little intrinsic value—a wood-handled whisk, a crudely carved figurine, a numbered ceramic tile—were offered for sale on eBay accompanied not by a conventional description of the merchandise, but by a fictional narrative centered around those objects, all of which leapt in value astronomically during the bidding process. Buyers, in essence, were paying not just for the object itself, but also for the story that accompanied it.

The 10-minute film was produced in association with a Future of Storytelling conference — and there are even “discussion questions” to go with it! You know you’ve made it when you inspire discussion question, right? So here you go:

Discussion Questions
  • What emerging technologies are most significantly influencing the way buyers and sellers interact online, and the way e-commerce companies observe and interpret those interactions?
  • Successful e-commerce marketing is as much about listening to customers’ stories—told through their buying and browsing habits, for example—as it is about conveying a company’s story to the customer. What are the most effective strategies for finding and listening to customers’ stories?
  • To what extent is character-driven narrative storytelling, literary or otherwise, becoming an integral part of e-commerce and product marketing?
significobs:


Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things (public library) tells the tale of this irreverent testament to the power of storytelling through a hundred of the best stories since the beginning of the project.
The anthology features such celebrated authors as William Gibson (HAWK Ashtray, bought for $2.99, sold for $101), Jonathan Lethem (Missouri Shotglass, bought for $1, sold for $76), and Colson Whitehead (Mallet, bought for 33 cents, sold for $71). 

More at: Significant Objects: How Storytelling Confers Value Upon the Vacant | Brain Pickings

significobs:

Significant Objects: 100 Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things (public library) tells the tale of this irreverent testament to the power of storytelling through a hundred of the best stories since the beginning of the project.

The anthology features such celebrated authors as William Gibson (HAWK Ashtray, bought for $2.99, sold for $101), Jonathan Lethem (Missouri Shotglass, bought for $1, sold for $76), and Colson Whitehead (Mallet, bought for 33 cents, sold for $71). 

More at: Significant Objects: How Storytelling Confers Value Upon the Vacant | Brain Pickings

Significant_Cocktails©emiliebaltz20120711_0167 (by MFA Products of Design)

Significant_Cocktails©emiliebaltz20120711_0167 (by MFA Products of Design)

significobs:

Significant Objects (ed. by Joshua Glenn & Rob Walker) - video preview (by fantagraphics)

This is awesome! The thing speaks for itself, you might say.

Props again to designer Jacob Covey and the crew at Fantagraphics. (More about that later).

Now will you come to our debut at The Strand?

significobs:

A collage by William Burroughs.
From a rather awesome roundup by Steven Heller: The Visual Art and Design of Famous Writers
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The Significant Objects Tumblr is proudly sponsored by the Significant Objects book: Launch event at The Strand, NYC, July 10, 2012: With Luc Sante, Ben Greenman, Shelley Jackson, Matthew Sharpe, Mimi Lipson, Jason Grote, Annie Nocenti, Joshua Glenn, and Rob Walker. Details here.

significobs:

A collage by William Burroughs.

From a rather awesome roundup by Steven Heller: The Visual Art and Design of Famous Writers

—————————————————————————————————

The Significant Objects Tumblr is proudly sponsored by the Significant Objects book: Launch event at The Strand, NYC, July 10, 2012: With Luc Sante, Ben Greenman, Shelley Jackson, Matthew Sharpe, Mimi Lipson, Jason Grote, Annie Nocenti, Joshua Glenn, and Rob Walker. Details here.

significobs:

The public launch of SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: THE BOOK is coming up at the Strand on Tuesday, July 10!

Join contributors LUC SANTE, MATTHEW SHARPE MIMI LIPSON, BEN GREENMAN, ANNIE NOCENTI, SHELLEY JACKSON, JASON GROTE and Editors JOSHUA GLENN and ROB WALKER as they read their stories from and celebrate the release of SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS.

Can a great story transform a worthless trinket into a significant object? The Significant Objects project set out to answer that question once and for all, by recruiting a highly impressive crew of creative writers to invent stories about an unimpressive menagerie of items rescued from thrift stores and yard sales.
That secondhand flotsam definitely becomes more valuable: sold on eBay, objects originally picked up for a buck or so sold for thousands of dollars in total. But something else happened, too: The stories created were astonishing, a cavalcade of surprising responses to the challenge of manufacturing significance. Who would have believed that random junk could inspire so much imagination?
The founders of the Significant Objects project, that’s who. This book collects 100 of the finest tales from this unprecedented creative experiment; you’ll never look at a thrift-store curiosity the same way again.

Buy Significant Objects or a $10 Strand gift card in order to attend this event. Both options admit one person. Please note that online orders require payment at the time of checkout to guarantee admission. The event will be located in the Strand’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway and 12th Street.

See you there!

WHAT: Significant Objects: Hosted by Joshua Glenn and Rob WalkerWHO: Joshua Glenn, Rob Walker, Luc Sante, Matthew Sharpe, Mimi Lipson, Ben Greenman, Annie Nocenti, Shelley Jackson, Jason Grote, and others t.b.a.WHEN: July 10, 7:00PM – 8:00PMWHERE: The Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway, New York City

(via Fantagraphics Books | Comics and Graphic Novels - Significant Objects Signing/Reading at The Strand)

significobs:

The public launch of SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: THE BOOK is coming up at the Strand on Tuesday, July 10!

Join contributors LUC SANTE, MATTHEW SHARPE MIMI LIPSON, BEN GREENMAN, ANNIE NOCENTI, SHELLEY JACKSON, JASON GROTE and Editors JOSHUA GLENN and ROB WALKER as they read their stories from and celebrate the release of SIGNIFICANT OBJECTS: 100 EXTRAORDINARY STORIES ABOUT ORDINARY THINGS.

Can a great story transform a worthless trinket into a significant object? The Significant Objects project set out to answer that question once and for all, by recruiting a highly impressive crew of creative writers to invent stories about an unimpressive menagerie of items rescued from thrift stores and yard sales.

That secondhand flotsam definitely becomes more valuable: sold on eBay, objects originally picked up for a buck or so sold for thousands of dollars in total. But something else happened, too: The stories created were astonishing, a cavalcade of surprising responses to the challenge of manufacturing significance. Who would have believed that random junk could inspire so much imagination?

The founders of the Significant Objects project, that’s who. This book collects 100 of the finest tales from this unprecedented creative experiment; you’ll never look at a thrift-store curiosity the same way again.

Buy Significant Objects or a $10 Strand gift card in order to attend this event. Both options admit one person. Please note that online orders require payment at the time of checkout to guarantee admission. The event will be located in the Strand’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway and 12th Street.

See you there!

WHAT: Significant Objects: Hosted by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker
WHO: Joshua Glenn, Rob Walker, Luc Sante, Matthew Sharpe, Mimi Lipson, Ben Greenman, Annie Nocenti, Shelley Jackson, Jason Grote, and others t.b.a.
WHEN: July 10, 7:00PM – 8:00PM
WHERE: The Strand Bookstore, 828 Broadway, New York City

(via Fantagraphics Books | Comics and Graphic Novels - Significant Objects Signing/Reading at The Strand)

So many, in fact all fundamentalist ideas, rest on the assumption that some things have intrinsic value and resonance and meaning. All pragmatists work from another assumption: No, it’s us. It’s us who make those meanings.
fantagraphics:

At HiLobrow, Significant Objects co-editor Joshua Glenn gives you your first glimpses of the interiors of the book.

Here’s a suggestion: Take a little time to invent a story about an insignificant object.

Deadline April 8. Contest details here. 
Rob Walker: What To Make Of It? A Contest. : Observers Room: Design Observer

Here’s a suggestion: Take a little time to invent a story about an insignificant object.

Deadline April 8. Contest details here.

Rob Walker: What To Make Of It? A Contest. : Observers Room: Design Observer

pergoogle:

“Significant Objects,” Google Image search by Rob Walker, March 24, 2012

Note: In connection with the Significant Objects project, co-founded by Joshua Glenn and me, Studio 360 is having a short-story contest: Write a story about one of three curiosities selected recently from a New York thrift store. Deadline April 8. http://www.studio360.org/objects/

pergoogle:

“Significant Objects,” Google Image search by Rob Walker, March 24, 2012

Note: In connection with the Significant Objects project, co-founded by Joshua Glenn and me, Studio 360 is having a short-story contest: Write a story about one of three curiosities selected recently from a New York thrift store. Deadline April 8. http://www.studio360.org/objects/

abitlate:

fantagraphics:

Rob Walker, co-founder of the Significant Objects project, was a guest on today’s episode of Public Radio International’s Studio 360 with host Kurt Andersen (who also happens to have contributed a story). Andersen interviewed Walker on location at Vintage Thrift in Manhattan and the two chose three new Objects for listeners to assign Significance to in Studio 360’s Significant Objects story contest.

You should enter this contest. I loved this project the first time around.

Thanks Alexandra!

And to all: Please please please help spread the word about this contest.

And yes, enter.


Inspired by the work of Significant Objects … and how they got that way, Grade 11 students (ELA 20-1) from Wm. E. Hay High School are embarking upon a journey of their own to see where it will lead them.
In September they chose their  “insignificant” objects and began writing stories about them to create  their significance. On Friday (Dec. 9) we began publishing the stories  along with the items on eBay to see if people will buy them because of  their newly created significance.
The students’ objects & stories: http://stettlerssignificantobjects.blogspot.com/;  their eBay store. Help ‘em spread the word.

(via Check out a high school’s Significant Objects-inspired experiment | Significant Objects)

Inspired by the work of Significant Objects … and how they got that way, Grade 11 students (ELA 20-1) from Wm. E. Hay High School are embarking upon a journey of their own to see where it will lead them.

In September they chose their “insignificant” objects and began writing stories about them to create their significance. On Friday (Dec. 9) we began publishing the stories along with the items on eBay to see if people will buy them because of their newly created significance.

The students’ objects & stories: http://stettlerssignificantobjects.blogspot.com/;  their eBay store. Help ‘em spread the word.

(via Check out a high school’s Significant Objects-inspired experiment | Significant Objects)


Agustina Woodgate has found a clever way to make the thrift store shopping experience even more rewarding by sneakily stitching  “Poetry Tags" onto clothing for shoppers to later discover.
I did some googling and found one of the stores in Miami where she did it. So you can go there and look for some poetically altered clothing…if you want.

More: Thrift Store Poetry Bombing @Craftzine.com blog
I really dig this idea. Maybe for Significant Objects, we should have just taped the stories to junk at Goodwill? Next time!
This is also reminds me of something I think Andrew Andrew once did — if I remember right, involved inserting their own label (“Respect Me”) in clothes at stores like the Gap.
Kind of a shop-dropping variation…
Anyway, this is cool.

Agustina Woodgate has found a clever way to make the thrift store shopping experience even more rewarding by sneakily stitching “Poetry Tags" onto clothing for shoppers to later discover.

I did some googling and found one of the stores in Miami where she did it. So you can go there and look for some poetically altered clothing…if you want.

More: Thrift Store Poetry Bombing @Craftzine.com blog

I really dig this idea. Maybe for Significant Objects, we should have just taped the stories to junk at Goodwill? Next time!

This is also reminds me of something I think Andrew Andrew once did — if I remember right, involved inserting their own label (“Respect Me”) in clothes at stores like the Gap.

Kind of a shop-dropping variation…

Anyway, this is cool.