Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Quarterly Co. Review: Box curated by Josh Foer
I've reviewed the subscription box Quarterly Co. several times before (here and here), but each time it feel like a totally new and different company. What they do, though there's been attempts at imitation, has never successfully been emulated by anyone else. The heart of their company- and a subscriptions success of failure- is in their curators. Every quarter, a curator puts together a box of items to be shipped to those who "subscribe" to him or her. Prices are typically either fifty or a hundred dollars a box, depending on who the curator is.
Though we may have some vague idea of what items are in the box, based on what the curator might do professionally or what is said in the description of each curator, the items aren't really picked on a theme. They are, in some way, a reflection of a person, the curator's interests of the moment. This can be both good and bad- you can never really know what you are getting as details are not released beforehand and though past boxes' content is one quarter can vary wildly from the next. I've been a bit disappointed before for this very reason. But when you get the right curator for the right person- then it is a delight indeed.
This box is curated by Joshua Foer, and was a present from my parents to the The Boy. The Boy can gan a voracious interest in just about anything that catches his eye; he'll obsess over something and master it before moving on to the next shiny puzzle. So, Foer seemed like it would be a good match. Each of his past boxes varied greatly, but one box before had contained lock picks (Yeah, we were bummed to miss out on that one too!), so seemed like a good bet. And this box did not disappoint. As most of you know, The Boy takes all the fashion and landscape photos seen on NFD, and part of his job is event photography! He's also stuck on the computer processing photos a lot and has mentioned wanting more physical, tactile projects.
Foer writes about the contents explaining, "Digital cameras, for all their wonder, have inured us to the physicality of photography. All it takes is light and the right set of chemicals." To contain people back to this physical side of the camera, he sent a kit for making a pinhole camera, Lumi's Photo printing kit that allows you to print photos on cloth, and the Sunprint Kit from the science department at Berkley. It is used to explore the light and chemical process of developing film.
Have you ever gotten a Quarterly Co. Box? What did you think?