Truck and sculpture model. Photos Courtesy SeamlessWeb, Kevin O'Callaghan
The unveiling of the large-scale piece, along with a 10-foot packet of take-out essentials (utensils, condiments, napkin), is the end of a week-long press run for SeamlessWeb.com, the international online food-delivery and takeout site. Their new campaign involves the slogan "(Less Paper) More Eat," and a big red truck circling the city to collect consumers' old menus. In exchange, you get a fortune cookie with a redemption code to use on the site's 5,000 featured restaurants in 27 cities across the U.S, as well as in London. And they've enlisted O'Callaghan to turn those paper menus into a piece of art. (FYI, he also designed the stage at the MTV Video Music Awards and is the subject of the newly released book, Monumental: The Reimagined World of Kevin O'Callaghan, which chronicles his long career.)
"I don't think anyone's ever paid homage to [the take-out packets], so I thought that was cool," says O'Callaghan of his first food-themed project, in which he was assisted by James Korpai, Shaun Killman and Adria Ingegneri. "There's a salt and pepper packet in there...and it's clear [vinyl plastic] so you can stand behind it, like you're in it -- it's an interactive thing. The meat on the pastrami sandwich is foam rubber from [the backing of] carpeting," he notes. Recycled menus can also be found in the giant napkin.
SeamlessWeb, too, is focused on preservation. Beyond the obvious paper elimination, the site gives you the option to opt out on those packets of plastic utensils -- if you're getting your grub delivered at home, what's the use?
If you're in New York City this week, you can find the promo truck stationed at Madison Square Park (today), then Lexington Avenue between 57th and 58th Streets (tomorrow) and over on 6th Avenue between Carmine and West 4th Street on Friday. Drop off those old menus and get a fortune cookie with a backside code. New members can expect a $10 coupon to use toward their first order on the site, while existing members have an added chance to win big -- like an iPad big.
So grab that Chinese-food menu that just got shoved under your apartment door and trade it in. It could become a work of art.