Space Mail

Last week the artist Travor Paglen sent out a “cosmic message in a bottle” with his fascinating project, The Last Pictures.  An archival disc of 100 photographs representing modern human history was attached to the side of the EchoStar XVI Satellite that was launched in to space. This satellite, like all the rest of the satellites we have sent into space, will orbit around the earth indefinitely.

Talk about Snail Mail! Paglen’s message may not be received for billions of years, when and if our space garbage is discovered by… someone.

In the meantime there is an accompanying book for those who want to experience Paglen’s project in the here and now of our warming planet. I can’t help but see this project through the post Sandy lens of the very real effects of climate change. It has begun and I am freaked out!

Thanks Postcards

Our Thanks Postcard Art Workshop on Saturday was fun and reports are coming in of postcards, and gratitude, received. My family received a postcard from my son, featuring a drawing of the word Thanks shooting out of a gun. Love that kid.

I am thankful for you, my readers. I know you are out there and I appreciate you. Happy Thanksgiving!

The World Needs More Love Letters

Are you familiar with the paper mail project that is The World Needs More Love Letters? It is the brainchild of Ms. Hannah Brencher and the basic idea is for people to send love letters to strangers.

A few years back Brencher started writing love letters and leaving them in public places in New York City to be discovered and appreciated. This initial project quickly grew into coordinated efforts by groups of people to write bundles of love letters for strangers who could benefit from some postal love.

Right now they are asking for love letters for baristas in the busy holiday season. Explore the site to find all the ways that Brencher’s lovely idea has blossomed.

Photo courtesy of moreloveletters.com. 

NOLA TO NEW YORK

I was so moved by the NOLA TO NEW YORK blog. People in New Orleans who survived Hurricane Katrina submit photos of themselves with handwritten messages to people in NY/NJ where we are immersed, in some cases literally, in recovery efforts. Such an excellent fusion of the personalized use of human handwriting and the connective power of the internet.

Art for the Aquarium

This week I have been leading some art workshops for kids as a fundraiser for the badly damaged New York Aquarium at Coney Island. We’re making Koi fish flags, a symbol of perseverance, and hand drawn cards to the animals and humans at the Aquarium.  These items will be sent as a care package, along with a cash contribution towards their rebuilding efforts. I might just throw in some goldfish crackers and swedish fish candies too. If there is food in the shape of walruses or penguins, let me know.

I am so grateful that Hootenanny Art House, where I teach, is providing opportunities for kids to take part in the recovery. There has been such an outpouring of volunteerism/donations/fundraising here in the city but very few ways for children to get involved. Every child that has come to the workshops has visited the Aquarium in the past and wants to visit again. Their creative output (along with their parents’ money) will help to make that happen.