From networking to notworking: duo makes art from old business cards

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They call it discarded, we say “temporarily liberated from office slavery.” But there’s a new project that aims to put a face on the 9.4 percent of the population that’s currently out of work.

The Brooklyn-based, just-launched Discarded site offers folks a chance to tell their recession stories by filling out a short form detailing their journey from full-time employment to paycation. The site asks visitors to upload or mail in their now-defunct business cards; a visual archive of the cards will be the finished product.

Creators Michelle Cheung and Mike Bodge were each affected by the recession differently. Michelle was laid off from her brand consulting agency and Mike was forced to fire people as the owner of an interactive company. They wanted to bring more awareness to those directly affected and show that there was more to the recession than just the GDP or the unemployment rate percentage.

“We want to humanize the statistics that we read in the news everyday and memorialize this point in history for the millions of people who have been affected,” said Michelle. “One day I just saw a stack of business cards in my wallet, thought of the unemployment numbers that were just released and thought Wow if 9.5% of the working population is unemployed, how many business cards out there are put to waste?

The Discarded, which soft-launched last Thursday, is solely funded by the duo, but they hope to attract relevant business partners.

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