A Box of Dust, part I

Missouri-based graphic designer and photographer Douglas Wilson recently collaborated with the Coudal Partners Swap Meat to create 15 “blind boxes,” customized cigar boxes bursting at the joints with recovered items from bygone (American) eras. Opening one of these unique boxes is meant to mimic the sensation that accompanies discovering, for example, a grandparent’s long forsaken drawer of knick-knacks.

After receiving one of these special boxes in the mail yesterday, I can attest, as my eyes began to well up (only in part from dust irritation) that it produces its intended effect unbelievably well! And while Grandpa Doug was clearly more deliberate and varied than your actual father’s father was, this only enhances the overall experience, doing little to diminish the feeling that these objects have been sharing one another’s company for the greater part of the 20th Century.

The Coudal website contends of the box’s contents, “there’s no cohesive purpose for them to all be packaged together,” but after fingering through the first few bits, the notion quickly surfaced that these items could share, in their randomness, much more in common than advertised. Especially by treating Wilson’s carefully crafted creation as something that toes the line toward a work of art–a found object, interactive, bookish sculpture type thing–the contents all but demand further contemplation.

So, for the inaugural series of posts for DustBubble, each entry will feature sequentially one of the fading treasures in the blind box (starting with the box itself), and attempt piece together their histories and cultural significance (or, in some instances, simply finding out what the heck it is). Finally, without forcing the circular issue into a square hole, we’ll see what connections, themes, or narratives might unwittingly present themselves.

blindbox2.jpg

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One Comment on “A Box of Dust, part I”


  1. Hi there dustbubble,

    I am looking forward for the series to continue and to see what you dig out for each item. I have unpacked my box yesterday and made a couple of photos as suggested by Doug. There available on flickr as a slideshow.

    Have fun looking at the mystery of all your pieces!

    Best, Andreas


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