Email Your 2020 Into A Literal Dumpster Fire

I’ve been helping out at the Detroit Bus Company, a.k.a. the Arsenal of Clean, where a marketing slash public art piece slash vessel of incendiary catharsis has been installed inside a shipping container. It’s a literal dumpster fire, and you can email your wishes, hopes, dreams, hates, fears, directly into it. It is, in effect, a marketing project of Hey E-mail, the progeny of software company Basecamp. Andy Didorosi, a bit of a renaissance man of New Detroit, designed and built the machine with a handful of co-conspirators. It consists of a laserjet, which prints 8.5×11 pages onto a conveyor belt. The conveyor belt then dumps the sheet onto a large grate underneath which is a relatively low-pressure propane burner. The entire affair is recorded on three separate video feeds and then broadcast live, and there’s a killer soundtrack. It’s even carbon-offset.

Frivolous? Yes, utterly. But quite clever, and AoC and Bus Company also are a source of local employment.

Send A Message

How to email your message into a dumpster fire? Send an e-mail to this address, and then it will queue to be cast into the dumpster fire.

I’m live-tweeting the affair from @nzorach. Though, disappointingly, I’ve thus far gotten a serious dearth of particularly clever commentary. What I’ve seen so far? A lot of pictures of, or references to, Trump. No shortage of references to COVID, coworkers, friends, family dying of the no-longer-so-novel coronavirus. Boris Johnson. Jair Bolsonaro. A bunch of tech-sector babble. People hating work. Let’s change that with your own witticisms.

Yes, I’ll be outside most of this time.

Yes, it’ll be cold.

And, most importantly, yes, I will get hungry out there in the cold, all by my lonesome– but we are blessed with an abundance of food in Southwest Detroit, and, ever in the interest of supporting local businesses that may be struggling during these strange times, I will buy you, dear, reader, lunch– if you want to deliver it to me. In the mean time, get into the queue and e-mail a dumpster fire.

Nat M. Zorach

Nat M. Zorach, AICP, MBA, is a city planner, journalist, and social entrepreneur based in the border town of Detroit, where he writes about infrastructure, sustainability, tech, and more. A native of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, he attended Grinnell College in Iowa, the Kogod School of Business at American University. He enjoys long walks through historic, disinvested Rust Belt neighborhoods at sunset.

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