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Everyday grocery store

Doing some grocery shopping today and I spotted this end unit here..






Backstory – Where it came from

In the fall of 1992, I was in my 2nd year of art school in Philadelphia. (The University of the Arts) I was working on the last issue of the Media Locals Zine. Media is the town that I grew up in. My friends and I started a little skateboard zine. I kept it going for years. The issues got more odd as time went on. The last issue featured a spread about milkcrates.

Media Local Zine #10

In September of that year, I moved into a house with a few guys. We didn’t have much furniture and the house was pretty big. There was a grocery store just down the block and I started bringing milkcrates home to satisfy our household needs. First, I lofted my bed. It was six milkcrates high, on just four columns of crates, and very unstable. Obvious note: I did not have a girlfriend at this time. Second, my roommates had a party that got a little out of hand. Someone fell on our coffee table. The legs were replaced by two milkcrates. Third: My friend Don Khaler hung around the house a lot and he set up a milkcrate dividing system for our recyclable trash. The list goes on. Don and I built a skateboard ramp in the basement. The ramp was one milkcrate tall. (11 inches) The platforms of the ramp were supported by milkcrates. All of this inspired a silly group of drawings that depicted different things you can do with milkcrates. Some were real, like my bed lofting and bookcases. Others were just plain silly. This little article was the seed.

How it started – Issue #1

Milkcrate Digest #1

In 1994 I transferred colleges and moved to Providence, Rhode Island. When I moved, I rented an apartment by myself. I could do anything I wanted. I quickly decided to use milkcrates profusely. I raised my bed up. Only two milkcrates high, in the hopes that my luck with the ladies may change with the move. I created large bookcases out of milkcrates. My TV, VCR, and video game systems were all up on milkcrates. My sofa was a crappy foam thing on top of eight milkcrates. It was at this time that I began to embrace the milkcrate lifestyle. In my first semester there (Fall) I took a photo class. My final project was Milkcrate Digest #1. I was surrounded by many new friends, who were willing to take part in my silly milkcrate photo shoots. Andrew Frieband, Ben Woodward, Jen Danos, Rob Blackson, Kate Malone, and many others were involved in very loosely organized photo sessions at my apartment. I had about forty milkcrates at the ready. The ideas came quickly within the small creative group. These photo shoots were the bulk of Issue #1. My friends showed great interest in Milkcrate Digest. Their support, energy, and creativity helped me see the potential of the idea.

more coming soon…

the Digest Store


Alex Aranovich
detail of a blue crate, built in some early 90s 3D program
John Freeborn

Photoshop filters + Painter V1 = ?

MC Escher

Crate study

Isaac Lin

charcoal drawing


Crate throne

Roy Lichtenstein

Good Morning


The Crate Wall of China
the MBA, Milkcrate Basketball Association and milkcrate sports
Dr. J
Karl Malone
Playing crateball
Milkcrate Sports Illustrated
The Providence Crateheads – the poorest team in football

About the zine


Milkcrate Digest #3

The zine started in the Winter of 1993 with Issue #1. #2 followed, and then #3, pictured above. #4 took a long time to complete. #5 was started and then abandoned. So, #6 came out next. (the full milkcrate size issue) And then #5 came out after, dubed the lost issue. #7 hit the streets in 2005, and #8 is out as of 2006.