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April 19, 2004

{     Found magazine Issue 3     }    

For those not acquainted with the beauty of Found magazine, let me briefly explain. Found is a printed document of items discarded and rediscovered- mostly writing, drawings, and photos. Those who have seen an issue know how addictive these fleeting glimpses into the lives of complete strangers can be- whether you're reading a misspelled shopping list or a misspelled love letter or staring at pictures that have been torn, burned or scratched out, Found offers you stories only partially told and allows you to piece things together yourself. Found began as a pretty rough photocopied zine, and Issue 1 actually included a found object glued to each cover. It sold extremely well, catching a lot of interest, and the call for submission of found objects turned out so much great stuff that Issue 2 involved the staff upgrading to a slicker, easier to read format. The new look lost none of the character of the original and still packed in a hefty amount of modern day anthropological archaeology. Issue 3 refines the process even further, proving that the more material submitted, the better the quality of the overall material selected for the magazine. There seem to be more depressing tales of love in conflict than before, and my favorite piece so far is "The Thoughts of a Thoughtful Teen"- a 4 page handwritten note that discusses the ethics and pitfalls of the teenage "hook-up" game. I have to admit, I've barely finished a quarter of the magazine though. It's just too wonderful not to savor every page, every scrap, every word. Issue 3 also features profiles on people who make a living from found materials, and includes notes on Found's "Slapdance Across America Tour" in which two brothers hit the road to see what they can find. The sidenotes occasionally give more information than I'm looking for, but this editorial intrusion rarely distracts from the pleasure of enjoying the items on the page. Occasionally a little backstory is necessary and really adds to the broken narrative structures and fragments presented, and I must admit that Issue 3 is much better at doing this when needed and avoiding unnecessary comments. It's a great way to spend 5 bucks.

     » Visit the Found website to see found photos and writing, or to order an issue of Found for your very own.

Comments

I've wanted to check this for a while as I've always been intrigued by the same junk. I guess we all are really, us nozy bitches. I come by it honest though, coming from a long line of pack-ratting hill-dwellers. I swear, every person on my father's side of the family has at least 2 extra buildings out back filled with junk, cool stuff, but still junk. And every person on my mother's side has tons of the same, except they stash it in barns, or other people's houses, or even in one case, an ENTIRELY WHOLE OTHER HOUSE located on their property that is simply a junk HOUSE. Just an extra house that came with the land when bought, that now just holds boxes and boxes of stuff. Our yard-sales are tri-state renowned! Seriously, we rent tents, the big county fair kind.... One is coming up in a few weeks actually, and they already just bought 2 big tents, it's gonna be mad...

Posted by: Shane at April 20, 2004 9:51 PM

Found is weird because you get the idea that anybody could do this, that anything you pick up off the street becomes valid, and the idea of it just infects the way you look at things.
Example- I'm cutting through an alley to get to a friends house and there's this naked baby doll lying in a pile of trash. It's covered in what is either mud or dogshit and the whole pile smells like rotting fish. And suddenly I'm thinking about taking it home.
It's weird how this idea can transform trash into treasure, and how it legitimizes my voyeuristic enjoyment of notes and letters written by people I've never met.
Like when I found a grocery list in a puddle in front of Kroger. It had batteries, Vienna Sausages, film, toothpaste and all sorts of other mispelled odds and ends, and all I could think about is how best to dry this thing out and preserve it. Luckily it fell apart when I tried to pick it up or I'd have some illegible waterlogged wad of paper sitting on my desk taking up space right now.
Benjamin even has a box full of found shit that he wants to contribute someday, I've tossed many an item in there and now that he's gone I have my own pile of stuff I'm working on.
It would be nice to have a space to put larger physical objects. Maybe we'll have our own junk house to fill full of curiosities one day. I think it may be my fate to be the proprietor of Mr. Barraclough's Museum of the Strange and Discarded. I've already got the moustache for it.

Posted by: Adam at April 22, 2004 7:43 PM

I knew there was a reason...

Posted by: Shane at April 23, 2004 2:51 AM

It's true. I do have a box full of junk. When last I saw it said box was becoming quite cramped. Some of my best shit I salvaged from our own trash can, courtesy of those rapscallions at Spring Hill Elementary. Charleston hasn't given me anything good yet -- I just keep finding telephone numbers. I've contemplated many a time picking up something oozing with what I hope is just water and mud. I should start carrying baggies around for the filthier treasures.

Posted by: benjamin at April 24, 2004 7:27 PM

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