Brain Pickings

Spam as Art

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Flowers from junk, postmodern poetry, and a beautiful way to invite Nigerian scammers into your living room.

Spam. The very use of the word sends most people cringing. (Not to mention its use here pretty much ensures our weekly newsletter won’t reach its recipients this week.) But count on artists to take life’s most cringe-inducing lemons and make beautiful lemonade. Today, we look at three fantastic spam-inspired art projects.

SPAM ONE-LINERS

From London-based illustrator Linzie Hunter comes Spam One-Liners — a gorgeous, colorful set of hand-lettering based on spam email subject lines in Linzie’s inbox.

From your usual slew of local chicks, weightloss aids and humorously poor euphemisms for ED to more the more cryptic, let’s-try-to-trick-you-into-opening-this-by-confusing-you efforts, the series is as wildly wonderful as its inspiration is maddeningly annoying.

Much to our delight, Hunter has published the illustrations in Secret Weapon — a collection of 30 terrific hand-painted, spam-inspired postcards that transform junk mail into a kind of postmodern poetry.

Select prints are also available on 20×200. (Which continues to top our list of places to buy affordable art.)

SPAM FLOWERS

Romanian artist Alex Dragulescu creates “dynamic for the people.” His Spam Plants series consists of incredible generative sculptures based on the text of spam messages.

His work reminds us of binary sculptor Paul Prudence, whom we featured more than two years ago.

See more of Dragulesco’s projects for even more generative fascination.

SPAMGHETTO

Instead of sweeping junk mail under their proverbial carpet, design getup ToDo decided to put it on their literal wall. Spamghetto is a gorgeous typographic wallpaper rendered via generative software and completely customizable so it wraps around any objects and shapes on your wall’s surface.

Spamghetto is like a designer Wordle for your junk folder. We’d actually love to get a version based on real, personal emails — how lovely would it be to have emails from your friends and family covering your walls with typographic goodness?

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