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Five-Thousand NYC Metrocards Went Into Making This Bench

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Leave it to an emergent artist to turn lemons into lemonade or, in this case, fare hikes into furniture. Steve Shaheen has made an incredible bench from a steel frame and 5,000 discarded Metrocards, the currency of the NYC public-transit system. "I was inspired to use these discarded objects–at once very personal and expendable—in a way that reflects the manner in which mass transit joins many diverse lives into a single moment or path together," says Shaheen, who's based in NYC and who enlisted the help of random people on Craigslist to compile the "media" for this project. Thanks to riders carelessly tossing expired Metrocards on the floors of the subway and around entrance turnstiles, he was able to collect 5,000 Metrocards in less than one week. Thanks, litterers! "There is something very personal about handling so many small belongings that were once riding around in peoples’ pockets," he says, adding, "There are untold personal stories in that inconspicuous, flimsy plastic.” It's quite a romantic way of thinking about that "flimsy plastic" whose price just keeps on rising! The bench was shown at Sloan Fine Art in downtown NYC on March 17.
· Incredible Seating Unite Made of 5000 Metrocards by Steve Shaheen [Freshome]
· Steve Haheen [official site]