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Art at the push of a button (pictures)

Distroboto is a network of vending machines in Canada that has been saved from the scrapyard. Once they sold cigarettes, but now they sell art and literature.

Tim Hornyak
Crave freelancer Tim Hornyak is the author of "Loving the Machine: The Art and Science of Japanese Robots." He has been writing about Japanese culture and technology for a decade. E-mail Tim.
Tim Hornyak
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Zines on demand

Inspired by Art-o-Mat art machines in the U.S., Distroboto is a network of vending machines in Montreal.

The machines once sold cigarettes, but now they sell self-produced, small-press zines like these. Buyers can choose between short story collections, graphic novels, and other works.

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Push-button

All the art sold in Distroboto machines is displayed in the old-time plastic buttons, which used to advertise tobacco. You don't know exactly what you'll get, but that's part of the fun.
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The Apollo

There are now 12 Distroboto machines in Montreal cafes, bars, and libraries. They're old Smokeshop Apollo vending machines from the 1960s that have been saved from the junkyard.
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Pack o' smokes

Creations like these pins themed on the Montreal subway come wrapped in old newspaper and cigarette packages. Otherwise the vending machine wouldn't be able to dispense them. Buyers leave the packaging in a box by the machine.
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Art for sale

For $2, Distroboto machines sell works such as this mix tape, fridge magnet, and fold-out art. See more creations here.

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