This project began long before it started. I had had the idea to make things from the book DIY: Design It Yourself¹ created by students of the well-known designer Ellen Lupton at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and at some point I settled on postcards. I made three or four, done with drawings, 2 sheets of flimsy printable cardstock glue-sticked together, and sent them to some random addresses in town. In the next few months I settled down to this time consuming process again, and came out withthis surprising design; I unexpectedly had something that seemed print-worthy. And then it sat, for over a year.
I finally got it printed and started filling them out with off-the-cuff momentary poetry. My plan was to send them to various coffee shops, bookstores, art galleries and whatnot. And it had acquired a secondary mission², spreading awareness of the threat of a [:climate-change induced collapse in global oxygenation:], and [:that global energy subsidies cost $5.3 trillion and rising, and 90% is for fossil fuels:]. At various points I sent them to others, including [:a then-listing of the Top 50 Literary Magazines:], [:various listed poets, writers, small presses, agents, and journals:], some [:news organizations:], politicians (mayors, mainly), and various others smatterings.
After the 2016 election, I refocused after a hiatus, and mailed them to [:all the therapists:] that [:were listed:] in a 5 mile radius of a Capitol Hill zip code and a 1 mile radius of Trump Tower NYC’s zip code. I do believe it has had a real effect. It is a bit of a chaos theory approach to things, seeding the unknown by the mass parallels of many-minds.
At this point, I am approaching 800 cards sent. Over time I got a lot of details straightened out, mainly dispensed with experiments in trying mainly prose/informational messages, and got a lot better at pulling interesting disruptive surprises out of the air (sometimes nonsensical, sometimes resembling flash fiction, sometimes elsewise & topwise-turned or etcetera).
Presently, I have a large stack left, pre-addressed to [:independent bookstores:] (to ‘Poetry Fans on Staff’, or the like, mostly) in select locales, that I’m about to start on, and include links to a [:free download:] (for now) of my new ebook [:Synaptic Syntactic: of unbounded phases and entangled echoes:].
In the time since the therapists’ phase wrapped in March, I’ve sent a few handfuls of cards that were not on my design, some essentially anonymous. I have become leery of announcing things before they’re done, but the parallel phase here is perhaps going to aim at people in small(er) towns in states that went red. I also have a stack of cards relatives got me in Portugal which will naturally lend themselves to a mention of how [:Portugal decriminalized drug possession:] (all drugs, up to a ’10 day supply’) quite some years ago, and their drugs issues and health outcomes have improved. Maybe something as well about how [:98% of Medicaid users are well satisfied:] (me included) on new research, despite the disingenuous propaganda (I have also heard that the congress hears a lot less noise from Medicaid patients thaan people higher up the scale; being sick and/or poor, one might tend to send letters and calls into the congressional black hole less… digressions;).
I also decided, just this hour, to send at least a few into the surroundings of Mar-a-Lago, the existence of which I did not know about in November.
All that said, I have a pile of projects, and some really peripheral ones. Attempting to organize simplify and reduce, but it’s easy to get distracted and over-stretched. This project remains in the top tier, though. And I’m now regarding it as rather more a personally fulfilling art project, and less a tool of deliberate marketing or influence. So I hope to post all the card texts going forward instead of socking them away with the idea of submitting to journals (…)
¹ My memory has been telling me that I got the book in 8th or 9th grade, but looking it up today, I see that it was not published until 2006, around sophomore year of 1st rotation of college, so this cannot be. I do however remember a book I borrowed from a friend in middle-school called “101 kids’ shenanigans” or something like that, and that it said the postal service will ship just about anything that isn’t wet or dangerous, long as it’s got enough postage and a clear address label (such as a boot, without any packaging, e.g.)
² I built a one page site, savetheoxygen.org, for this. Still up, but it has issues and I haven’t fixed them, since 6/2016, despite intentions. so I think I’m going to soon redirect it to a page of links on my main site, psychicfuguestudio.net