What is the value of ephemeral content

Summer semester 2015, BA / MA Textile and Surface DesignTextil_Startseite

Cook. Beat. Glue.

From the forgotten magazine to the new shape


Lots of magazines are being produced. And then? Sorted, forgotten, dusty. Important content or worthless paper? In terms of their value, they are in the intermediate range, definitely above newspapers but below books. Even if their contents are short-lived, they have a high-quality appearance due to their materiality and are often stored. But after a while the most valuable thing about them is only the raw material:

Printed, illustrated, for the most part unread paper, a content memory that is no longer evaluated. In terms of its material properties, however, it is superior to most other types of paper.


This project is about a double transformation. On the one hand, the reuse of a raw material in a new form and function, with new material properties. On the other hand, the transfer of content in a non-readable material format. Accordingly, the new material can also be perceived on different levels.


Let us first take a look at the actual material side: due to their high-quality paper qualities, colors and coatings, magazines are often not ideally suited for paper recycling. In this process, however, your paper can be processed further without pre-treatment. The sides are rolled into several layers, then boiled and then cut into slices. In the next step they are pressed into a frame, compacted by tapping and hardened. Finally, the surfaces created are firmly connected with an adhesive and a fleece. According to this basic principle, elements of different strength, strength, flexibility and visual appearance can be produced, which open up a variety of possible applications.


The transformation of the content goes hand in hand with the transformation of the material. We experience every day how short-lived the contents of our information society are, how quickly large quantities of them disappear again and are perhaps still stored in some archives but are never used again. When processing the magazines as part of this project, however, this otherwise invisible process is made tangible. The content is still there, but no longer accessible. What was previously spread out horizontally across the sides has now been tilted into a vertical position and preserved inside the material.


This creates a double experience, the specific aesthetics of the semi-inconspicuous, semi-spectacular material is combined with the imagination of the contents stored in it. You still get an idea of ​​the original reading process when the flexible plates react to the movements of the user and seem to communicate with him.


Katja Mauksch

Semester project project subjects BA / MA textile and surface design