Summer Semester 2010,



Newspaper is a cheap material with a relatively short life span.

Is it possible to turn it into a durable, valuable, high quality material?

London Underground, 9 o’clock in the morning: After the daily rush hour the trains are almost empty. All that remains are the discarded newspapers that passengers left behind on their way to work. News of the day: read, digested and discarded.

The value of a newspaper is usually not measured by its material worth, but by its content, which as we all know has a very short life span. They are made of material yet act as a medium of the virtual, immaterial, constant flow of new information. However the material is not insignificant. It makes a difference to hold a newspaper or a computer in your hand. The visual and tactile presence of a newspaper personalizes the moment of reception, much more than the media or the internet could ever do. OLD NEWS translates these aspects of newspapers into an object.

Old newspapers are spun into yarn. This technique has an ancient tradition, which originally stems from Japan, where hand made Washi paper is used to make yarn. Although used newspaper is a cheap material, due to its characteristic thinness it is perfect to be spun into yarn. The newspaper is cut into 1 – 4 cm wide strips, which are, by use of self-made glue, joined into long panels, which are spun into paper yarn.

The recycling of material in this case is less significant. More important is the aesthetic of the yarn and its essential effect on our perception. The project questions the sustainability of news and information and creates, through transformation of their material, a new relationship for the viewer. Fragments of old news are still visible on the hand-woven surface but fail to deliver any meaning. When viewed from a distance, the woven space divider appears like an oversized, magnified newspaper page. The physical resemblance is there, but not the content - the steady stream of information has halted. Instead a new perspective unfolds, the mind creates different associations while the senses play with the tactile facets of the material.



Supervision Prof. Susanne Schwarz-Raacke, Prof. Dr. Zane Berzina, Prof. Heike Selmer
Project categorySemester Project