Swipple Exhibits; Envelope Show; 4/2006

Envelope Show 2006 

I recently sent out around thirty requests to artists on the Swipple mailing list, asking them to send me something for a show I was going to hang up in my basement. I didn’t make any specific requests other than that they could use the envelope I included to send the work back to me. Some sent in things that were about that size, some sent things that, once unfolded or unpacked, were larger. Needless to say, it was a great mail month. Every day or two, there was another arrival, each a wonderful surprise, each unique and different from the rest. I didn’t ask anyone to explain their choices, and while each entry no doubt reflects in some way on the individual sender, I resisted reading too much into the particular significance of the choices. However, as each piece arrived, I was able to have an intimate experience with the work, and each time I marveled at how unfailingly the work carried with it a distinct and immediately recognizable echo of the sender. Over time, as the submissions accumulated, I enjoyed watching the individual pieces as they related to each other, and how their meaning and significance evolved. Once assembled as a group, they were a new thing: parts, yes, but also a whole. And this was the result of a sort of blind collaboration, with no one really knowing what the final context for their work would be, or the final result of their participation. And what’s more, since the show was being held here in Ypsilanti, in my basement, (where let’s face it not a lot of people were going to actually see the show) we can assume that the participants were doing it just so it could happen, which is really a great reason to do something. 

So THANK YOU to all the artists, for making something happen - perhaps a small thing, but nevertheless, a very cool thing. We did have an opening, and considering the venue, a bunch of people did come. And as far as I could tell, everyone loved it. 

Envelope Show artists: Andrea Aimi, Soren Banks, Canton Belanger, Jeff Cashvan, Jeff Clark, Tim Clinton, Larry Cressman, John Drury, John DeHoog, E. F. Higgins III, Christine Hume, Chris Hyndman, Jake Klotz, Amanda Krugliak, Rob Kolomysky, Karin Luner, Steve MacDonald, Kara Maria, John Hoder & Dana Williams, David Skinner, Meredith Heuer, Mary Penn, Leone Rivers, Lucy Wright Rivers, Brion Nuda Rosch, Gregg Woolard, and Jocko Weyland.
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