Keep Me Posted
While Artists-in-Residence at the Incheon Art Platform (South Korea) from December 2011 - February 2012, we put people in touch with each other through a postcard project. Local people were asked if they would like to be connected to people we know all over the world. All of the people are those that we know personally, and by allowing our connections to grow in new directions, we created an extended network.
This was a person-to-person exchange through traditional post, and in this way gave people a tangible way to connect, and was a novel experience for those who normally do not mail things. Of course, email or facebook would have been quicker and cleaner as ways to create and track these connections, but our interest was in the physical passage of things between people and the face-to-face meetings that were required to facilitate this.
As well, it was a way to make tangible the concept of the rhizome (From Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus). Our greater project at Incheon was to find ways to bring philosophy into everyday life. Keep Me Posted allowed us to create rhizomatic offshoots of our current social connections, and talk to people about the concept of 'the rhizome', many of whom didn't know much about it.
With this in mind, we created a postcard with an image of ginger on one side and the text 'Ginger is a rhizome. It grows horizontally and forms an underground network. What emerges is an interconnected population of individuals' on the other. This served as a template and people were asked to write a short introduction or some brief thoughts to a person that we matched them with according to their interests or other criteria which we discussed together.
Here are a few things that people wrote on their postcards:
"Art is wonderful. It makes to meet people who have very different backgrounds. We are connected already. Without any fears. But with much of expectations and hopenesses. Possibilities are amazing a lot. Hope you be okay always and take care. Kisses and hugs."
"I saw a word 'rhizome' in the book of Deleuze. Then i imagined 'Bamboo Roots'. In Korea, and other far-east Asia nation, also, Bamboo's meaning related on 'morally purity'. But, when I watched Bamboo Roots, I was a child, its figure wasn't good, It looks like 'Intestine'. Instinctly, I linked that image to 'corruption'."
Overall, we connected 100 people from countries including South Korea, Germany, Canada, the USA, Norway, the UK, Romania and France. They came from all walks of life, including artists, chefs, social media experts, web designers, cafe owners, and more. In a sense, we acted as agents for creating these connections, allowing participants to continue their correspondence as time, interest, and postal accuracy allows.