Tuesday, June 2, 2009

The Mystery of the Mystery Shirt: A Mystery Starring the Visual Arts Staff

Scott's adventures as a designer are constantly bringing him into contact with interesting things, and sometimes he brings those interesting things into the office. We usually inspect them and return to work, but today's thing deserves special mention.

Let me set the scene. Scott comes out of his office holding what looks like an oversized hockey puck.

Scott: Look at this T-shirt I found in my closet!


Scott puts the hockey puck thing down and, upon closer inspection, we realize that it is actually a T-shirt that has been fiercely compressed and packed into a tin can. Scott found the can and finally got around to prying it open. Maybe you're thinking "Big deal, a scrunched up T-shirt," but this shirt was incredibly dense. Observe:

The T-shirt was tiny and heavy. You know how astronomers talk about how dense the sun is? This T-shirt is like that. Here's a picture of Karen holding it, for scale:

If you threw this tiny, dense T-shirt at someone's head, it would kill them immediately.

Apparently Scott received this T-shirt for free at a TED 5K. Nike was just giving them out. The 5K was held at Cannery Row in Monterey, so maybe Nike likes a good pun too? Here's what Scott had to say about the experience:

"It was fun. And tiring. There were seals diving as we ran by, but we were all too tired to look."

Of course we were excited to unfold (de-densify?) the shirt and see what it looked like, but Scott wouldn't let us. He wants to let it "open by itself." Even though he is my boss, I am not afraid to say that that is insane. How do you not open this shirt? It just doesn't make sense. There is a 75% chance that I am going to sneak into his office while he is at a meeting and open the shirt. He will never be able to prove it was me.


Anonymous said...

i'll never tell.

Scott Hutchinson said...

I see it as performance art and data collection -- I want to see what years of compression packaging does to a cotton shirt, maybe a time-lapse photography opportunity?

Irene said...

I'm glad you showed the second picture. At first I thought that t-shirt was the size of a Volkswagen.

jonas said...

It sounds a lot of fun. Thanks for sharing.