THE THING, a quarterly periodical in the form of an object, was founded by San Francisco based artists Jonn Herschend and Will Rogan. Each year, four artists, writers, musicians or filmmakers are invited to create an everyday object that somehow incorporates text. The object is reproduced and hand wrapped at wrapping parties and then mailed to the homes of subscribers with the help of the United States Postal Service. Each issue is kept a secret from THE THING's subscribers, which now number above 1,000 and are scattered throughout the world. "We are not an edition house," says Herschend. "We consider ourselves to be a true periodical, and are interested in making the process of interacting with these artists, writers and filmmakers a more democratic experience."
Past issues have included contributions from artists Miranda July, Kota Ezawa, Trisha Donelly, Lucy Pullen, and Tucker Nichols. Issues have ranged from pull-down window shades with text silk-screened onto them, to beermats (coasters), to door-stops. Upcoming issues include contributions from the writer Jonathan Lethem, the experimental geographer Trevor Paglen, visual artist Ryan Gander and writer/radio personality Starlee Kine.