Vending machine sells ideas for things to do

ideasforsale.jpg ideasforsale-detail.jpg
(Click on thumbnails for enlargement)

Sarah says: "Spotted this en route to work this morning at the bodega out front of my house in the East Village NYC. Any ideas? I was in too much of a hurry to take the bait."

It reminds me of Mister Jalopy's "Pocket Guide to Life & Death with Modest Automobiles," which can be purchased for $1 from a vending machine at Coco's Variety, or as a PDF at Boing Boing's Digital Emporium.


  1. This is a cool idea. An artists’ group could use it to sell maps to galleries.

    Have you seen Chris Ware’s amazing hand-made vending machines? One accepts keys and dispenses a small comic book.

  2. But how could they have come up with the idea for the vending machine before there was a vending maching to put 50 cents in and get the idea from?

  3. Yet another “find great things to do” invention located only in a place where there are so many things to do it’s stupid.

    No one ever comes up with a “find great things to do” invention for, say, Poughkeepsie.

  4. You need lots of things to do nearby, otherwise you wouldn’t have repeat business.

    “Great! I got ‘Mid Hudson Civic Center’. What did you get?”
    “Oh, another ‘Bardavon Opera House’.”
    “That’s, what, your third one?”

  5. Wow. This is really interesting. I’m way over on the other side of the country, otherwise I’d check that out. :(

  6. Awesome! And its so New York that the photographer didn’t even stop to sample one. I hope there’s an update with some of the “things to do”.

    And as long as we’re plugging our own vending machine projects, here’s one of mine:

  7. This chap: installs vending machines which dispense pieces of art for two pounds. The package is a yellow box with a typewritten label on it. I got one from the ICA many years ago which was titled ‘Immaculate Conception’ and contained a small ziploc bag which I hope didn’t contain someone’s, er, issue.

  8. I bet they all say “Go F*ck yourself!”

    I mean, that’s what I’d make them all say if I’d thought of it first. :D

  9. Yay, address! I’ll try to make it over there tomorrow, though, I’m betting someone will beat me to it. I have too many quarters as-is, and not enough ideas!

  10. Foolster41: Have no fear! I am on the left coast, and my vending machine full of tiny comics will be on my table at Zine Fest at the County Fair Building on July 19 and 20 in San Francisco. Check out for details. I will also have my comics that are shaped like a pack of cigarettes, which I am thinking of submitting to the Art-O-Mat thing that Satman mentioned.

    In the future, all art will come from vending machines.

  11. Very cool to see that there are so many vending machine art projects out there. I was surprised not to see Gumball Poetry cited — I think they no longer publish, but they were quite widespread in their day and their web site is still up.

    They were exactly what they sound like: a poetry journal distributed through gumball machines in various states (California, Iowa, Idaho, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, Oregon, and Washington).

    They published a poem of mine (Stigmata) and the best part was getting my author’s copy, which involved living a sort of little kid’s dream of getting a box of gumball plastic container thingies in the mail, all at once and all for myself. Of course they had poetry inside instead of gum or toys or prizes, but I guess that part of the dream had been updated for my current tastes.

    Check out their last issue at:

  12. A surprisingly high number of the ideas were, “Go on a date with a vending machine maintenance guy, 555-555-5555…”

  13. next we need a vending machine of witty things to say. Sorry it was stupid. I’m just in a rut right Bret.

  14. i feel like this must be from the guy behind He does this kind of stuff all the time. Once he stood on a corner in NYC and just handed out dollar bills. Funny thing is nobody would take them…

  15. Me too, Mailman. Had two quarters in my pocket too. Took a photo but it is too lame to clog up my Flickr stream.

Comments are closed.