postcard project

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For six weeks in August and September of 2016 I worked on these postcards, sketching them in pencil and filling them in with Bic pens. Messages on the back were prompted by the letter they were paired with, and writing them was an exercise in maintaining my opinion or my vulnerability while considering a universal audience of people I might not know well. This was a poetic exercise, a technical exercise, and an emotional exercise.

I'm a mail enthusiast the way some of my friends are into vinyl, or comics--I've always loved it as a form of communication, having lived in a few places far from my friends. Increasingly I've been thinking of art itself as a means of communication, like using cans and string for a telephone: the artist is feeling something or saying something, translates it into their art, and then it's translated back by each person who experiences it. I don't believe the original feeling and prompted feeling should be the same, but I think they should both be strong. Anyway that's half-baked, but it's how far I've gotten.

So I sketched and I filled in and I wrote and got from A to Z, and asked my Facebook friends to comment on the final picture in order to request a card, and they were all gone in about two hours. I was happy with the mix--there were close friends and college acquaintances and people I respect and adore from afar. Given that only 25 people could participate, and other people might be curious about how they look, and also maybe I'm not ready for all that work to be gone without a trace, here's a picture of each postcard. The messages will stay between myself and the recipients, though. You'll have to ask them.

When I shared the project on Facebook looking for recipients, some people were generous and donated some money to cover my postage costs. I made some thank-you postcards that you can see here; they're the ones with ampersands on.

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