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international networking 1999

mail boxes

mailbox hand
Mailbox system
123 individuals sent responses to Dead White Mail. Rather than pin the works to a wall or place them on pedestals, they were housed in a system of stacked wooden boxes.

A set of individual holding zones, the boxes represented the dynamism and flux of postal correspondence in a gallery installation.

Based on contemporary post office boxes, they emphasized the element of chance, as well as the constant shift from speaker to listener, from sender to recipient, that underlies postal correspondence.

Nearly 500 boxes were displayed, each one labeled with the name of a person to whom I sent a white envelope. The hundreds of empty boxes indicated the white mail sent out and not returned, perhaps forgotten in a drawer or consigned to the dead letter section of a distant post office.

Those that did arrive were tied by a thread to their respective boxes to dissuade theft or misfiling. Drawing forth an envelope, unfolding it, and sorting through its contents, visitors could discover the works' visual, verbal, and tactile intimacies.

 mail art