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$338
pledged of $4,000pledged of $4,000 goal
12
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 17 2016 1:54 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 17, 2016

Poop Bag of the Month: Limited Edition Poop Bags

Inject a bit of art and culture into your daily feces-management routine with limited edition poop bags featuring creative content.

Poop Bag of the Month: Limited Edition Poop Bags

Inject a bit of art and culture into your daily feces-management routine with limited edition poop bags featuring creative content.

$338
pledged of $4,000pledged of $4,000 goal
12
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Wed, August 17 2016 1:54 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated August 17, 2016

About

In the 1970s in New York City, dog poo was a whole to do. A campaign to clean up the streets of excrement began when Fran Lee, an Upper West Side activist, started drawing attention to a purported link between feces on sidewalks and child blindness. What followed was something of a waste-management creativity renaissance: enthusiasts wrote up plans for everything from sidewalk dog toilets to poop-freezing sprays to city-funded “enviromaids” employed to pick up after dogs.

Ultimately, the solution was a simple mandate: Pick up after your dog. Many scoffed at the thought. My dad was among the dissenters. But, one day in the early 1980s when we were out together in SoHo with our dog Mabel, she went, we walked away, and then a stranger shouted at us for not picking it up. That moment changed everything.

Back then, our excrement removal routine depended on something once commonly found in most households: newspaper. Indeed, Fran Lee, the anti-poop crusader, specifically suggested people use The New York Times for this purpose. It was an exciting time for print media.

In our home, newspaper served several purposes, not a few of which had to do with animal care and control; it lined the ground for Mabel when she was a puppy; it was bedding for the guinea pig. Once, when he was coming home with the Sunday Times, my dad spotted a rat on the stairs and slammed the paper down, killing it. He wrote to the Times to tell them of this alternate use of their publication. They published it as a letter to the editor.

This was not the first time my dad’s work was seen in a major paper. He is a prolific political caricaturist, and his send-ups were frequently in the publications I’d bring on walks. Often, while walking the dog, I would find myself interested enough in something that I’d stand over Mabel’s deposit for a minute, finishing a paragraph. It was a habit I probably picked up from my dad. “I remember reading a Times article on a piece of paper I was using to scoop,” he once told me. “It was about some new discovery regarding the stars and planets. My deep thought was about living out, at that moment, the perfect conjunction of the glorious and the disgusting. Needless to say, I never finished the article.”

Years later I would go on to write for some of the newspapers we used to for this purpose. Was my choice of career determined by these stolen moments of paper-reading? Hard to say, but I know the secondary use for newspaper never left my mind. In the pre-blog era, if I found myself obsessing about an article I was writing, I’d remember the ephemeral nature of the medium. It’d soon be covered in shit.

When I got my own dog in the mid 2000s, I realized that my family had been living in the dog-waste dark ages. Even the most functional use of print media was on the wane. Every pet store carried small plastic bag rolls especially made for the purpose of poop. The bags were cheap, but it seemed weird to me to spend any money on a plastic bag that would be used to place poop into another plastic bag.  

I wasn’t a Times subscriber at that point, but, thanks to an abundance of takeout menus and old New Yorkers, I managed to resist the poop-bag craze for years. But seamless.com changed the volume of menus shoved under the door, and I eventually started to read magazines on my iPad. More recently I used supermarket plastic bags, but those are also in their golden years, thanks to online grocery delivery and increasing legislation across the country that imposes fees on their use. 

So, I started to buy those darn rolls. Using them is part of a semi-daily ritual that is now about nothing but poop. To be sure, there are a few lines of decorative poop bags — pink argyle, green stripes, etc. But… yawn. I dreamt of something that would tickle my intellect, not match my handbag.

This line of thinking led me to try to imagine a way in which we could embrace the ephemeral nature of printed content, while also injecting a bit of culture into a routine chore. Is there a way that turd-tidying could be, again, a time to take in a tidbit of art, or even literature? Could we use our dogs’ waste to perhaps make a political statement? Is it possible that these small moments of civic duty (doodie!) could get us to look up from our phones and actually, in some way, alter the way we look at the world?

I brought the idea to my father. He has caricatured presidential hopefuls for many decades and has dabbled in unusual media before —in the 1980s, he sculpted Ronald Reagan out of chopped liver. 

Robert Grossman, working on a bust of Ronald Reagan, made of chopped liver. It was commissioned by Abe Lebewohl of the Second Avenue Deli in 1984.
Robert Grossman, working on a bust of Ronald Reagan, made of chopped liver. It was commissioned by Abe Lebewohl of the Second Avenue Deli in 1984.

Could I mine his talent to put something meaningful on a bag meant for excrement? Who would be the appropriate person for him to caricature for this purpose? It’d have to be someone in the news — maybe someone generally disliked by the kind of people who would appreciate a bit of wit in an unusual place. The answer seemed obvious: Donald Trump. His name even contains the word "dump!" It was meant to be.

Dad initially refused — he did not want to be associated with poop. I argued the point: Is poop not one of the great equalizing factors of mankind? He complied.

I didn’t have such luck in the other direction: Poop bag makers wanted nothing to do with Trump. There are only a handful of US-based factories that have the machinery to make the kind of small rolls I wanted, and all said they did not want to be involved in politics. After much searching, I finally found a factory in a place that was thrilled to print Donald Trump’s face on a minimum of 5,000 poop bags. That place was China.

Call it a physical manifestation of editorial commentary: Experience the joy of smashing the presumptive GOP candidates face into excrement. But the fun doesn’t end there! Tie it up and put it on display on the curb — his head filled with your dog’s shit.

My years as a print journalist may be in the rear view, but as a curator of plastic bag art, I’ve only just found my preferred medium. The Donald Trump bags have inspired me to go big: Why not a subscription service! Poop Bag Of The Month was born.

This campaign will provide the funding needed to develop and produce bags for monthly subscribers for the first year, at which point I hope to have enough incoming revenue from the bags for it to support itself. As its editor-in-chief, each month I will be commissioning a new creative thinker to make a limited edition poop bag. This campaign will help fund the production of the next ten editions, which will include work by writer Tao Lin, fine artist Georgia Elrod, as well as poetry, decorative images, and universally disliked documents, such as tax forms. Either order rolls as the appeal to you, or sign up for a subscription. Each month our subscribers will receive an assortment of four limited edition rolls for a total sixty bags — enough for picking up two bowel movements a day each month. However, these multi-purpose bags can also be used for diapers, cat litter, and more. The only limits are your imagination! And the size of the crap.

Some art to be seen during the first year of this new subscription service.

1.2 -- Between The Sheets by Peter Arkle

 

1.7 -- Papillons et Poissons, a 19th Century etching by Félix Braquemond 

 1.3 -- Shakespeare's Sonnet 97

 1.6 -- The Pioneer Plaque that was launched into space in 1972 to describe our universe and ourselves to alien life. 

 1.11 -- The top dog names in NYC neighborhoods.

 1.9 -- The Poop Whisperer, shows up how to pick up poop like a pack leader.

 

Risks and challenges

For this project to work, we need to have enough subscribers signed up to help fund future editions. If a critical mass is not met, it will be prohibitively costly to manufacture the bags and order them in the minimum quantities we need from the factories we work with. We hope to mainly produce these bags in the US.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About US$ 2

    1 limited edition poop baggie

    Receive a single limited edition poop bag. Choose either our "Dump4Trump" poop bag by artist Robert Grossman, or the "Between the Shits" poop bag by artist Peter Arkle.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About US$ 5

    2 rolls of limited edition poop bags

    Receive 2 rolls of limited edition poop bags, each containing 15 bags. Choose either two "Dump4Trump" poop bags by artist Robert Grossman, two of the "Between the Shits" poop bag by artist Peter Arkle, or one of each.

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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 10 or more About US$ 10

    2 rolls + chance to suggest new rolls

    As a thank you for your support, we will post your idea for new poop bag content and site visitors will then have a chance to vote on what we will produce. You will also receive 2 rolls of limited edition poop bags--Choose either two "Dump4Trump" poop bags by artist Robert Grossman, two of the "Between the Shits" poop bag by artist Peter Arkle, or one of each.

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 30 or more About US$ 30

    10 rolls of limited edition poop bags

    Receive 10 rolls of limited edition poop bags, each containing 15 bags. Choose either ten "Dump4Trump" poop bags by artist Robert Grossman, ten of the "Between the Shits" poop bag by artist Peter Arkle, or five of each.

    As a thank you for your support, we will also post your idea for new poop bag content and site visitors will then have a chance to vote on what we will produce.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 60 or more About US$ 60

    6 month subscription

    Receive 4 rolls of limited edition poop bags by a different artist each month for a year. 15 bags per roll. US shipping included.

    As a thank you for your support, we will also post your idea for new poop bag content and site visitors will then have a chance to vote on what we will produce.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 100 or more About US$ 100

    1 year subscription

    Receive 4 rolls of limited edition poop bags by a different artist each month for a year. 15 bags per roll. US shipping included.

    As a thank you for your support, we will also post your idea for new poop bag content and site visitors will then have a chance to vote on what we will produce.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 300 or more About US$ 300

    Dog training + 1 year subscription

    Receive one 90-minute private dog training session at School For The Dogs in Manhattan, in addition to a yearly subscription: 4 rolls of limited edition poop bags by a different artist each month for a year. 15 bags per roll.

    As a thank you for your support, we will also post your idea for new poop bag content and site visitors will then have a chance to vote on what we will produce.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 700 or more About US$ 700

    10 customized poop bags

    Receive a one year subscription and 10 rolls of custom designed poop bags featuring your own design. Design subject to approval.

    As a thank you for your support, we will also post your idea for new poop bag content and site visitors will then have a chance to vote on what we will produce.

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Funding period

- (30 days)