Like the shape-shifting alien in the 80’s sci fi classic of the same name, The Thing is constantly seeking new forms. Each issue of the quarterly periodical is conceived by a renowned artist or designer and takes the shape of an object of their choosing. John Baldessari’s Thing was a pillowcase while Miranda July’s was a vinyl window shade. And as in the film, while its appearance varies significantly, the object remains The Thing. Unlike the film, The Thing is a thing to be madly coveted, rather than tremendously feared.
For Issue 28, the periodical turned to renowned Mexican artist Gabriel Orozco. Famous for his investigations and interpretations of recognizable shapes and objects as well as the notions of rotations, circularity and movement, Orozco’s Thing fittingly takes the shape of a boomerang – an object the artist has engaged with for nearly a decade.
“The design of this boomerang is based on one of my favorite boomerangs by the late German thrower, Volker Behrens,” Orozco says. But if all boomerangs look alike to you, don’t fret. “New boomerangs are usually based on other boomerang designs, in a kind of evolving generational fashion. The different shapes and materials depend on the type of flight and the length of distance you want to achieve.”
Named “Black Feather” for it’s slick, lightweight design, Orozco’s boomerangs were made locally by Mark Legg, a board member of the United States Boomerang Association (go ahead, look it up. It’s a thing).
And if you wish to give it a toss rather than simply put it on the shelf, it comes in both right-handed and left-handed models. But beware – Orozco himself can attest that it’s hard work. “The beauty of the object and its performance while flying are fully perfected when the body is in perfect connection with the environment and the dynamics of the boomerang,” he says. “You definitely learn to breathe the horizon!”
You can purchase Issue 28 of The Thing via their website for $85.