Saturday, January 9, 2010

'LOST' by Tyler Stout

For months the deep red eroteme tantalized followers of the Lost Underground Art Project. The sixteenth poster would be special! Fifteen would be lost, but the sixteenth would be found! What did it all mean? For months, poster #16 remained an enigma wrapped in a mystery.

The long wait ended on December 15th, 2009. As eager fans burst through the doors of Gallery 1988 they were greeted by an overwhelming assortment of Lost art. Among them was a copy of the sixteenth poster, revealed to the public for the first time.

So how is this last poster special? Let us count the ways: First, at 24x36 it is twice as large as most other posters in the series. Second, it features nearly two dozen LOST characters, four times as many as any other DCAAPB poster. (Both The Crash and Rousseau's Transmission featured six.) Third, it was created by renowned artist Tyler Stout. Fourth, in addition to the screen prints sold online, hundreds of free lithographs were given out to Gallery 1988 attendees. Fifth, it is the only poster whose time-of-sale was not known in advance. Sixth, it features two clues for season 6. And finally, the cost of the poster was $70 rather than the $50 charged for all prior sales.

Fans were told that the sixteenth poster would go on sale the 16th of December, but were not told a specific time. Bookmarks and a tote passed out at Gallery 1988 apparently contained information that could be used to calculate the time, but the possibility of a missing bookmark threw some doubt onto the result. Not wanting to miss out, some hardy folks spent the entire day glued to their F5 key, continuously refreshing the site.

Based on information I had seen from various sources, I believed the reveal would be in the evening. I started following in earnest shortly after 7PM eastern. Around 10PM eastern I fueled up with 2 homemade cupcakes and a couple of cups of coffee and hunkered down. Having been denied on 3 of the past 4 reveals, I wasn't too hopeful for my chances on #16, but felt that I had to participate if only for the experience. By midnight eastern we were all getting a little punch drunk but having a great time trying to one-up each others' jokes. One of the more popular theories postulated that the reveal would be at 10:42pm pacific (1:42am eastern) since that was the time at which Oceanic 815 had initially been scheduled to land at LAX. This seemed like sound logic to me so I planned my pee breaks accordingly. As the clock approached 1:42 the beat of my F5 jabs quickened. By 1:41 I was down to two-second intervals. 1:42 -- nada. 1:43 -- no dice. I vowed to give up and go to bed at 2am eastern if nothing had happened by then. My cupcakes were wearing off. Besides, I really didn't have much hope of snagging #16, the holy grail of DCAAPB.

Then suddenly it was show time. First a few seconds of panic as the site seemed to go down, then the "BUY NOW", then a pounding heartbeat, then the fingers (nearly numb from hours of F5ing) trying to attain both speed and accuracy. I sped through the first three checkout screens, quickly entered credit card info, then encountered a database error. Refreshed, got to the next screen, clicked to complete the transaction, waited, waited, heart bursting, wait, wait, pound, wait, error, refresh, SOLD OUT. Silent scream. Sadness. Expletive. Refresh. Refresh. Refresh. Expletive. Resignation. Heart slowing. Congratulate the victors. Time to call it a night.

Then a couple of people on mention that although their transaction didn't seem to complete, they actually received two emails indicating a successful order. So I fire up my email, and although I'm absolutely convinced there will be nothing the darn heart starts pounding again. Then the moment of tentative bliss as two glorious emails appear, the first from Go! Merch and the second from Ronie Midfew Arts. Fortunately these were NOT followed by calls or emails canceling the order due to oversells. I was indeed order #3074. The evening's buzz kept me up until 5am that morning, but a lost night's sleep seemed a small sacrifice.

I like Tyler Stout's LOST. As a whole it is perhaps less a piece of art than some of the other posters, but each of the individual elements within are interesting and well executed. Viewed in its entirety the artwork ably samples the myriad of characters and plotlines that played out during the first 3 seasons of the show. I'll take a closer looks at these elements in subsequent posts.

For this poster I chose a crisp black wood frame with an inlay. There is already a lot happening in the poster and I didn't want the frame to add any more noise.

This time around I lucked out a bit in terms of the poster number. Although I was one of the higher order numbers, I received poster #165 of 300.

As mentioned, I'll follow-up with additional posts which examine each element of the poster in more detail.


  1. Ha! That is the story, yes. An amazing print. I think there was a lot of suffering that night. What time was the actual drop and how off were the estimates from LA? Did anyone guess the time correctly? I'm enjoying your recaps now that some time as passed. Towards the end of DCaaPB it was hard to fully enjoy the moments.

  2. LT, BUY NOW came up somewhere between 10:44 and 10:45 pacific. I'm still not sure if they intended to hit 10:42 but missed, or it was just coincidence. Good Q for Jensen's interview. I don't recall the bookmark-based estimate, but I think it was off by a few hours.

  3. The intended time was 10:42 PT. I asked Jensen Karp about that when he was in Chicago. He wasn't sure what delayed it to 10:44-45.

  4. Just reading that got the pulse pounding again! Good times.

    I had to use context clues to figure out what's an eroteme.