The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Sealed Air

‘Bubble wrap was invented in 1957 by engineers Alfred Fielding and Marc Chavannes in Hawthorne, New Jersey, USA. Fielding and Chavannes sealed two shower curtains together, creating a smattering of air bubbles, which they originally tried to sell as wallpaper. When the product turned out to be unsuccessful as wallpaper, the team marketed it as greenhouse insulation. Although Bubble Wrap was branded by Sealed Air Corporation (founded by Fielding and Chavannes) in 1960, it was not until a year later that its use in protective packaging was discovered. As a packaging material, Bubble Wrap’s first client was IBM, which used the product to protect the IBM 1401 computer during shipment.

‘Fifty years later, Sealed Air has global revenues of more than $4 billion. Office Depot, for example, sells enough bubble each year to wrap around the Earth. Twice. “It seems like every day there’s something new being done with bubble wrap,” said Rohn Shellenberger, the company’s business manager for air cellular products. “It’s exploded since the year 2000. This whole phenomenon taking off has been a big surprise.” Sealed Air’s 100,000-square-foot warehouse, just off Interstate 80 about 15 miles west of Manhattan, is an obsessive-compulsive’s dream, with row upon row of stacked rolls of Bubble Wrap as big as seven feet in diameter.

‘The temperature is sweat-inducing, caused by the machines that process millions of granules of resin (one box is labeled “Munchy Resin”) into clear plastic sheets at temperatures up to 560 degrees. Shellenberger pops one myth about Bubble Wrap; namely, that air is injected into all those tiny bubbles. Instead, it is trapped between the sheets after they pass over several rollers, one of which creates the indentations for the bubbles.

‘Two apparently disparate forces conspired to shape Bubble Wrap’s growth: The advent of the transistor — and later the personal computer with all its accessories — which made the shipping of delicate electronic components a multibillion-dollar industry; and the Internet, which provided a forum for fanatics to swap stories and cement Bubble Wrap as a cultural icon. “The act of popping Bubble Wrap is a little indulgence in some small act of destruction that is neither dangerous nor offensive,” said Arthur Gallego, vice president of LaForce and Stevens, a marketing and trend firm in New York City. “It’s mindless.”‘ — collaged


How Bubble Wrap Is Made

‘The whole process starts with resin pellets that are vacuumed into an extruder, which is extremely hot and melts the resin. Once the resin is made into a film, it’s put on rollers. From there, the film is vacuumed down and the air is trapped. Finally, the film goes through other rollers and cools, forming a bond so that the product has a flat backing with a bubbled topping.’



The Bubble Wrap Competition for Young Inventors
‘let the hours waste away with the PERPETUAL BUBBLEWRAP!’
bubble wrap @ Sealed Air
Virtual bubble wrap simulator
Bubble Wrap Appreciation Day
Bubble Wrap Maniac
Nuclear Bubble Wrap
Guiness World Records: Most People Popping Bubble Wrap
‘Exam stress tackled by bubble wrap’
‘How to Make a Bubble Wrap Storm Window’
Bubble Wrap Calendar
‘The Stretchy Membrane That Could Replace Bubble Wrap’
‘Stay Away from Foil-Faced Bubble Wrap’
bradley hart’s injected bubble wrap paintings’
The Bubble Wrap Gene
The Official Bubble Wrap Club



Binaural Recording (3D sound in headphones): Bubble Wrap and Scissors

Popping Bubble Wrap ~ Sounds by Sophie (Relaxing ASMR trigger sounds)

Sound of bubble wrap ASMR




Bradley Hart, artist

‘My work is an album of memories made by injecting bubble wrap with paint to create pixilated photorealistic pictures. The pictures are copies of both snap shots of important people captured by me or given to me and maintained as a part of my own personal photograph collection, as well as powerful images obtained from other sources.

‘To create the Bubble Wrap pieces I inject each bubble individually with acrylic paint, acutely aware of the exchange between paint and the air inside as one of those two elements displaces the other. As the paint is injected into a bubble the excess drips down the back of the piece. Upon completion of the injected work, the drippings are removed surgically from the backside of the plastic.’


Bubble wrap is everything


My Bubble Wrap Bike




How to use bubble wrap to insulate windows

Is It A Good Idea To Microwave Bubble Wrap?

Infinite Bubble Wrap Keychain Review (Mugen Puchi Puchi)

Destruction Boy: Bubble Wrap like a boss with a steam roller

How to add texture to your painting using bubble wrap

Bubble Wrap Hip-Hop-Pop

Bubble Wrap Machine



p.s. Hey. ** Wolf, Hey, hey, Wolfie! Thank you, thank you. Wowzer, amazing thoughts about TP and Lynch. Really beautiful, wow. I’m still a TP2 virgin for a bit more time. Gosh. I’m good. I’m in heavy work mode on the film’s sound, probably all day every day except weekends for another three weeks. It’s intense. The dance piece is … I don’t think it will be what it needs to be by the early November premiere, to be honest. Too ambitious for the amount of time we had make it. But Gisele will get in as good a shape as she can by then, and hopefully it’ll be closer to what it has to be by the time we play Paris in December. A bit stressful. And you, my pal? What’s what? Love, me. ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Who do you think has been the worst Warhol? ** Dóra Grőber, Hi, Dóra! I got the email/post. It’s super awesome. I set it up yesterday, and it’ll launch here on this coming Saturday! Thank you so much! I’m really happy and proud to put the blog at its birth’s disposal. Fingers remain very crossed for the bookstore gig. As I just told Wolf, the dance piece is probably not going to be really ready by the time of the premiere in early November. Have to face facts. Gisele, and me to some extent too, are aiming very high, and we just don’t have enough time. So Gisele is going to polish the piece in its current state so when it premieres it will at least work, and then we’ll keep developing it in hopes of having it actually ready by the time we play Paris in December. The film goes well. Back to hard work today. My weekend was the dance piece, seeing a little art with Zac and Gisele, not too much else. It was okay. How has your week started? ** Misanthrope, Hey. I love ‘River’s Edge’. Even though ‘PGL’ isn’t like ‘RE’ at all, I did find myself thinking about ‘RE’ while we were shooting ‘RE’. You were tight about Nadal. Was your weekend in fact swell? ** Steve Erickson, Oh, ‘Frownland’, interesting. I can see that. Have you seen Glover’s two directorial efforts? I haven’t. Yeah, I’m not a giant fan of BlB’s films. Although JDs was important, and his particular fame modulating/ maintaining routine can be kind of fun. Sometimes. Man, you can’t even imagine how bad the average French film is. The teeny-tiniest portion of French films get released outside of the country for very good reasons. No, I don’t know that Philip Toledano series, but you have intrigued me greatly about it, so I will investigate. Thank you! Oh, and I just saw the link. Great, thank you again! ** Bill, I know, I shocked myself. A singing voice? How very interesting. Huh. Very interesting. Gosh, I hope that heat spate is over now. It must be? Logically?  Bon Monday. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Nice pic. I am watching this place like the veritable hawk. ** H, Hi. Yes, an excellent interview with Kevin Killian. Thank you kindly!  Everyone, h passes along a very good, thorough interview with the legendary Kevin Killian that just went up at The Believer. I second the recommendation to read it. Here. ** Liquored goat, Hi, man! It’s true. Re: Glover and Dave. Well, I can give you advice based on my own experiences. Back when I was in writing workshops I mostly kept my work with difficult content out of that context because you’re inevitably going to get a largely emotional reaction to the content in that situation, and I was taking workshops to get help to improve as a writer, not to be validated about my choice of content. That was my strategy. Let me know what happens either way. Love back to you! ** Shane Jesse Christmass, Ha ha, awesome, thanks a lot! Everyone, Shane Jesse Christmass has a sterling add to Crispin Glover Day if you didn’t hit his link over the weekend. Crispin Glover meets Gary Coleman. Go. ** New Juche, Hi, Joe. Manly activities, nice. I can only dream of such things. And I do. Thanks about the sound work. I was off from the film for the weekend, working on a dance piece, seeing a little art, friends, watching the hurricane on TV, that sort of thing. Enjoy today, etc.! ** Chris dankland, Hi, Chris. Cool. Timothy Carey, no I haven’t. Huh. I will investigate those possibilities and make that Day if the internet is generous in his regard. Thanks! Good, obviously happy and relieved to hear that you and yours are doing okay and better. I was watching Irma on TV yesterday. Intense, jeez. ** Thomas Moronic, Hi! A bit nutty sounds, you know, tasty! Very excited! I keep waiting for CG to do that in-person event with his films here in Paris, but so far no, I don’t know why. Yeah, I love the new Sparks too. Totally agree. ** Okay. I wondered if I could make a whole post about bubble wrap and I did. For better or worse. That’s your local portion of today. See you tomorrow.


  1. Hello, Dennis — I emailed you about one thing. An interesting post as usual. But I’m pretty gloomy today, so no more words for now… glad your projects are going well.

  2. The worst Warhol? It’s a dead heat between David Bowie in “Basquiat” and Guy Pearce in “Factory Girl” Bowie is much too tall. More important he confuses Andy’s blank presentational persona with his overall manner. Andy was quite animated.

    I find bubble wrap fairly frightening.

  3. There are fetishists who get off on balloons popping, so I assume the same is true for bubble wrap.

    I took a look at the Facebook page of the actor I cast as the American ambassador in my unproduced short FAR FROM SYRIA for the first time in three years. (He’s actually Canadian.) I saw his most recent headshot, in which he wears a suit and has grown a greying beard, and thought “Damn, that would be great casting if I were able to make the film now.” Many of the comments on the photos say things like he should get roles as the president, the head of the FBI, etc., so obviously my decision to cast him as an ambassador was not coming out of nowhere. (He’s also very talented – I saw him in a movie, a play and doing improv comedy.)

    I can sort of see the appeal of making Toledano’s photos myself. 15 years ago, I took a photo of myself holding a replica gun to my head and posted it to a private movie discussion group with the caption “Steve after seeing AMELIE.” I think it was obvious that I was joking around, but I still got some “are you OK?” E-mails and in retrospect it’s not really a great idea to toy casually with that kind of imagery. (I’m lucky Facebook didn’t exist at the time!) But I didn’t put on a bald cap to do the photo to rub it in further, as Toledano did in the photo where his alter ego slits his wrists in the bathtub. Anyway, the short makes it clear that his photos are a response to his parents and other relatives’ deaths and his fears about decay and mortality. It’s just not obvious how this would lead to fantasies about becoming Bernie Madoff.

    I know the National are kind of an indie rock cliche, but their new album is excellent. They’ve gotten a lot of attention for using a Karl Rove quote about the death of objective reality and truth on the song “Walk It Back” – Newsweek actually played the song to Rove to get his reaction – but much of the album is about responding to the Trump regime by smoking large quantities of pot and engaging in doomed relationships. The first single, “The System Only Dreams in Total Darkness,” might be the most aggressive song they’ve recorded so far, with an actual guitar solo. There are also lots of 15-second electronics/drum machine intros leading into more conventional rock songs. I liked HIGH VIOLET a lot too, especially “Bloodbuzz, Ohio”, but I was disappointed by TROUBLE WILL FIND ME.

    PERSONAL SHOPPER, RAW & NOCTURAMA are all likely headed for my 2017 top 10 list, so it seems to me that French cinema is pretty awesome right now (and there also something like 8 new French films in the upcoming New York Film Festival), but I realize that distributors and festival programmers have a tendency to cull the shittiest ones out, unless they’re easily marketable. By the way, I was surprised to learn that both Cahiers du Cinema and Positif disliked NOCTURAMA, with the latter calling it “irresponsible” or something. As far as I can tell, it got a wider embrace in New York than any other American city – it played here for almost a month on two screens, while it played a single day in L,A. – and almost everyone I’m aware of in the U.S. who’s seen it thinks it’s a major film.

  4. Hi!

    Haha, now I definitely have to get my hands on some Bubble Wrap! “An obsessive-compulsive’s dream” it is. Thank you for this post!

    Ah, thank you, thank you!! I couldn’t be more grateful and I’m also super proud! Being featured on your blog means so much to me. Oh, and I forgot to mention in my e-mail that all the pictures I used in the post are either from google or tumblr. I hope that’s how it usually goes and it’s okay.
    Still no word from the bookstore, unfortunately. I did send my CV to an organization working with troubled and/or marginalized teenagers, though. It’s a “psycho” job but I’m really interested in it – so far, I’ve only found school psychologist posts available and I really don’t want to work as one. (I don’t want to go into detail about how fucked up our education system is but school psychologists basically don’t even have the time/chance to see and work with the kids as individuals and that would be the point for me.)
    I’m sorry to hear the news about ‘Crowd’. I still admire how you keep going forward, looking at the practical, factual steps instead of succumbing to panic. I hope it’ll be as presentable by the time of the premiere as possible and that it’ll be in its finest form by December! I keep my fingers very crossed!
    Apart from the new job application, my day was pretty uneventful, I think.
    How was yours? I hope you made good progress!!

  5. Hey – right after seeing this this morning, a woman walked by in Wash Sq Park with bright pink bubble wrap. I figured she’s gotta be a Dennis fan.

    Cute profile of me today in the Washington Square News (but they didn’t mention my book, which often arrives in bubble wrap).


  6. One more thing: the comments on the headshot on that actor’s page include many comments from women stretching from “you’re handsome” to overtly sexual remarks. There are two or three similar remarks from men, presumably gay. I completely agree, but given that he’s someone I wanted to work with and I know he’s heterosexual, I would never even say “you’re very attractive” in a comment on his Facebook page. I’ve never looked up comments on photos on beautiful but little-known actresses’ Facebook pages. I’m sure they get overtly sexual remarks from strangers as well. I’d be naive to think this probably doesn’t extend into “I’d like to rape you” territory.

  7. I always enjoy it when records arrive this way in the post. On the rare occasions that bubble wrap is used then it’s a sign of a dedicated and thoughtful seller. Positive Discogs feedback guaranteed!

  8. I will admit that I do enjoying popping those little bubbles!

    I saw the film IT over the weekend. Really enjoyed it, highly recommend it.

    Saw kind of a disturbing thing at the Ligotti forums today. Someone resurrected an old thread devoted to Coil to post a link to some blog that had 3 screengrabs from some defunct reddit channel where all these people were accusing the members of Coil of being big-time pedophiles. Granted a lot of the comments were on the lines of “I knew a guy who knew [person X] who said this” but little in the way of conclusive proof or actual evidence. And I take anything that Genesis P-Orridge claims with a grain of salt, especially with all the bad blood that existed between him and Sleazy. Oddly enough, in some ways if all that is true it almost boosts Coil’s industrial credibility… a transgressive/perverted musical act that genuinely was transgressive/perverted and not just doing it for shock value…

  9. Big D! You do know that I can’t get any sort of bubble wrap in my hands without having to pop every single bubble, right? I’m sure I’m not the only one. Sometimes, I’ll just twist it up in mass and pop them all at once…or try to. Stepping on them is fun too.

    Yeah, Nadal had pretty easy draw, especially with Fed playing like shit and going out early. He would’ve beaten Fed, I’m sure. Murray, Djokovic, and Wawrinka skipped the US Open, and Zverev got beat in the first round. But that’s why they play the matches. To the victor go the spoils.

    Interesting about RE. I like that, actually.

    My weekend was indeed swell. Had a nice little party Saturday, my Patti LaBelle macaroni and cheese was a hit, and I stayed later than everyone else to continue some alone time with my friend Karen. ‘Twas a good time.

    Oh, and then the Nats clinched the NL East on Sunday, and the Cowboys won their first game of the NFL season. I was a quite happy, content misanthrope. For once. 😉

  10. I ran into DL Bernard Welt on the street and unfortunately couldn’t talk to him, because I had to get a sandwich and then head to see IT, which, like Sypha, I enjoyed a great deal.

  11. Nice exploration of this particular surface today. Bubble wrap always makes me think of this kid I used to work with who had suffered trauma and fore whatever reason, when he was stressed or upset he always wanted bubble wrap to pop. He’d sit and pop it for a good 10 or 20 minutes as a way of calming down. I used to get through tons of the stuff at work! The bubble wrap paintings are trippy.

    Thanks about my poems, Dennis. The structure is in three parts – there are these strange hyper emotional or hyper emotionally posed short pieces and then it tightens up into a corridor of haikus, which are obviously very formally rigid and exact which then lead into this crazy poem that is supposed to start falling apart under the stress of what was in the text before. I’m not explaining to too well but it’s 5:43am. Ha.

  12. I love this stuff. One of the great inventions.

    It hasn’t been as hot as last weekend. But we had a thunderstorm today! In September! No, the climate hasn’t changed.

    Saw JH1.FS3 (Puce Mary + Liebestod) at the SF Electronic Music Festival, pretty fun set. This singing voice thing is still being difficult; I don’t think vocoding William Burroughs is going to do it. But we’ll keep trying…


  13. Dennis, I’m briefly back. My feeling gloomy isn’t related to the content of the email. It has to do with obvious things in the world that I don’t have to mention here. An interesting post, by the way. Would you recall any childhood anecdote of your own, associated with bubble wraps? My new room in Brooklyn (they call it Midwood, very near Coney Island) has one or two bar wifi connections (old neighborhood, so it doesn’t get fancier internet companies,) so I can’t comment long. But very happy to hear your work’s been progressing so well. Have a nice day!

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