Do Not Pick This Up
Do Not Pick This Up was a zine produced collaboratively via the Frequency23 website. The zine was A5 sized and 24 pages long. It featured artwork, original writing and interviews with Kurt Vonnegut and Howard Campbell. It was edited by Mujinga.
Although members of the Frequency23 group did publish another zine called May Contain Offensive Content, Do Not Pick This Up can be considered a oneshot.
The original idea was for members of the website to write or submit artworks and writings which they thought it would be interesting for someone to discover accidentally. The aim was to facilitate the myriad ways in which people can get outside their own "reality tunnel" (as Robert Anton Wilson terms the fixed mental standpoint which most, if not all people are obliged to assume in order to negotiate their way through life's adventures). Thus the zine was put online as an Adobe Acrobat file and publicised widely, with the specific request that people could download the file and print it out, and then leave it lying around somewhere where someone else might find it. It was hoped that the person who found it would then have access to new, challenging ideas. The idea of stepping into the unknown led to the title of the zine.
Since members of Frequency23 live in the USA, the UK, the Netherlands and elsewhere, and since the zine was promoted in different channels using viral marketing techniques, the distribution can be assumed to be large and wide-reaching. Places where zines were left included libraries, buses, concert venues and print shops.
Assessing the success of the project
Although almost nobody replied to the Frequency23 website to say they had found the zine or been inspired by it, the zine was downloaded over 1100 times before Frequency23 changed hosts.