Guys, I fell off the wagon. For months. But last night I got out my postcards and stamps and my favorite pen and wrote a bunch of postcards for some of the moms in my life and it felt so good! I was like, oh right. I like this.
I have been pulled in so many directions this year that snail mail felt like an extension of “kin keeping,” those obligatory tasks that are often taken on by women in order to maintain relationships. I just did not have the bandwidth to reach out with mail. And my art practice has been more focused on drawing lately so I wasn’t even thinking about snail mail as art so much. But.
I’m going to try to climb back on the snail mail wagon. Also, how gorgeous is that The Quilts of Gee’s Bend postcard? Wagons, paper mail, and quilts? What is this, 1917?
Dear paper mail enthusiasts,
If you are looking for ways to protest this presidency, consider sending a postcard to “President Bannon” at the White House, as part of the #PostcardstoBannon campaign. It is becoming increasingly clear who is calling the shots in the Oval Office and he is a truly frightening person. Tell him what you think about the job he is doing as POTUS.
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington DC 20500
Did you go to a Women’s March yesterday? They were happening on all 7 continents. I was in North America- New York City to be specific- with family and friends and the route was so packed with people that we had to go rogue and march on side streets. Which were also full of people. Friends were marching in Washington D.C., Chicago, Oakland, Boston, Park City, Portland, Austin, Copenhagen, and Paris. So wonderful.
The positive and unifying energy of these marches is just the beginning of the resistance to an administration that is tone deaf and in many ways hostile to women’s fundamental human rights. And immigrants’ rights. And civil rights. And LGBT rights. And our climate crisis. And so many other issues. So the organizers of the Women’s March on Washington have proposed 10 actions for the first 100 days.
And guys. The first action involves paper mail! Its a make mail about the issues you care about and send it to your senators action!
Make postcards. Get stamps. Host a mail making party. Let’s do this.
Viva Snail Mail!
Today I am participating in a snail mail action called #postcard avalanche! If you find Stephen Bannon a troubling Chief White House Strategist for President Elect Donald Trump, then put pen to postcard too! If you are not familiar with Bannon, here is an article in The Washington Post about him. And if you choose to participate, send out those postcards by Monday November 28th and share your paper mail on social media with the hashtags #postcardavalanche and #stopbannon.
I must say it was very strange to go through the familiar ritual of hand addressing a postcard but this time I was writing Trump’s mailing address. And it was not a good strange.
VSM approves of this marketing strategy by Showtime to promote their new television series, HAPPYish. Postcards! I have not seen the show but Kathryn Hahn is one of the leads and she is my all time favorite. Loved her in Afternoon Delight and Transparent. And Steve Coogan is pretty great too.
Last chance to see On Kawara’s impressive show at the Guggenheim, including hundreds of postcards from his I Got Up series. On Silence closes on May 3, 2015.
I just got back from my kids’ school where students and staff are dressed up for Halloween, I mean, Character Day. That’s what they call it and everyone is supposed to dress up as a character from a book, maybe to include children who don’t celebrate Halloween and to make it educational? Semantics. In any case, this year’s Halloween should be called National Elsa Day because she is everywhere!
Speaking of school children, my son’s friend’s 3rd grade class is trying to see how many postcards they can get from around the country and the world. If you are a VSM reader from outside of New York State, can you please send a postcard to the class with one fact about your location written on it? That would be excellent! Thank you!
Please send your postcard to:
Class 3-412, P.S. 10, 511 7th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Above is a portion of the series I Got Up… by conceptual artist, On Kawara, made up of 90 postcards that he rubber stamped and mailed to his friend and fellow artist, John Baldessari in 1975. I just learned that while I was on vacation in Italy, Kawara died at the age of 81. Since much of his work focuses on marking time and place I feel compelled to state that he died on July 10, 2014 in New York City.
I am looking forward to a retrospective of Kawara’s work at the Guggenheim, which opens on February 6, 2015, and is called On Kawara: Silence.
Did you miss me? We went to Italy. And then my husband had surgery. And its summer vacation. I fell off the VSM wagon! But I am hoping that, despite my disappearance, you have been having a fantastic summer. Viva Snail Mail!
Last year when I was teaching mail making in an after school program, one of the kids in the class wanted to send mail to strangers. I loved her idea and its creative potential.
We didn’t do it but collage artist Ben Peberdy did. Unfortunately his mail art project drew the attention of the FBI, who showed up at his Vermont home with a few questions! Here is Peberdy’s project description from his website, Deluxe Unlimited:
Since August 5th, 2013, I have been making an original piece of postcard-sized collage artwork each day and mailing it out to random individuals. I find the addresses listed on Google Maps. I intend on producing 365 pieces, completing the project on August 5th, 2014.
I started doing this for two reasons. The first was to provide an opportunity to continuously make collages, without repeating myself. The second reason was that I was excited to get my artwork out to a very different, far more diverse audience. The people who come to see my stuff at galleries tend to be part of a fairly insular New England art community, and this was a chance to get these various ideas and images out into some fresh minds.
I anticipated far more responses than I have thus far received, although those that did write back to me were generally pleased with their postcard. However ”Another Disaster” resulted in my being investigated by the FBI. I briefly considered stopping the project, only to become even more determined to see it through.
What do you think of Peberdy’s project?