Experimental Zine

The experimental zine examines the lingering consequences in the land, water, and communities of decommissioned military sites. The zine is laser-etched into plywood, a material which, as we realized over the course of many site visits, is the signature material of these spaces. Whether the buildings at these sites are boarded up or torn down, attempts at redevelopment are stymied by the enduring legacy of military industrial activity.

The welded steel box references the materials and practices of the region during World War II: shipbuilding in the Bay Area was characterized by welding (rather than riveting) to allow for faster assembly, and also by the introduction of women into the workforce.

Zines have roots in DIY fan communities; their small size allows creators to focus on a single story, rather than attempting to capture larger narratives. Zines are characterized by low-cost replication—a promise often made around digital fabrication, but not yet achieved. Here, we wanted to instantiate an object made using the extensive resources at the Pier, while making the digital files to print a copy on paper freely available online.


Zine: 3mm plywood
Box: ⅛” 4130 alloy steel, ⅛” x 1” x 1” slices of natural rubber for corner bumpers, 3M high-performance double-sided tape (9088)


Files created in Adobe Illustrator.
Cut and etched with an Epilog Legend 36EXT laser cutter.

Files created in Adobe Illustrator.
Toolpaths created in OMAX Layout and OMAX Make.
Steel cut on OMAX 60120 Waterjet and TIG welded.
Rubber bumpers positioned and mounted by hand.

Download Source Files

This work by Situated Systems is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.