TIA 2005: Art from Ephemera (Mail Art and the Internet)
Text and Image Arts
School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
Fall 2007 - Spring 2009

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


The class is getting ready to install a showcase of projects from this semester and last. Here's the low-down:

Post: A Collection of Mail and Web Projects
Including work by students in the Text & Image Arts class Art from Ephemera: Mail Art and the Internet, 2007-08

Do snails dream of electronic mail?

Students in this intermediate level multi-media studio class investigate the definition and nature of ephemeral materials while appropriating the strategies of and making connections between Mail Art and the Internet. All of the projects presented in this exhibition utilize the network distribution of the postal system or the Internet (or in some cases, both) in order to explore communication from both aesthetic and conceptual perspectives. Many of the projects are interactive, inviting you to participate in the process in some way.

Participating Artists include Haley Bishop, Brian Butler, Sheri Demchak, Erin Fili, Genevieve Johnson, Aziza Klingensmith, Tiffanie Laverty, Carmina Novoa, John Pearson, Marcel Reyes, Stefanie Vermillion, Samara Watkiss, and Melissa Yasko.

Post will be on display in the BAG Gallery at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Show Dates: March 28 through April 6
Opening Reception: Monday, March 31st, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Image: Brian Butler

About the students and their projects:

Haley Bishop has been recording the details of every single text message she receives in a notebook. Her installation explores both her physical location and emotional reaction at the time of receipt of each message.

Brian Butler is collecting artist renditions on the blank cone postcards provided in the space as evidence of the Ice Cream People. The postcards will be archived online at IceCreamPeople.org.

Sheri Demchak's text/blog game began when she mis-heard a song lyric and preferred the version in her mind. She text messaged this song lyric to friends, her friends responded, she forwarded their responses to other friends, and so on. Her installation attempts to map the network created by this game while rendering the ephemeral material temporarily tangible.

Erin Fili believes that at any age or time in your life you can take a few minutes of your day to stop everything and have some creative fun. She has invited friends, family, and with this installation she invites you to color a blank page from her collection of books. Colored pages will be archived in book and web form.

Genevieve Johnson presents postcards created from recycled cereal boxes and other documentation of interventions she has staged at locations frequented by environmental canvassers. The installation and postcards direct visitors to a website that will them with information about this practice and alternatives.

Aziza Klingensmith was inspired by Yoko Ono's instructional paintings when she created these hand-made, star-punched postcards for distant friends she has remained in contact with primarily through websites like Facebook. Recipients were invited to look through the star and respond with what they saw at that moment.

Tiffanie Laverty explores disposable materials related to pop culture. By designing a fake tabloid magazine subscription letter she both mimics and satirizes the language of tabloid advertising while providing a refreshing break to the monotony of opening junk mail. Gallery visitors are invited to read the letters deposited in the trash bin.

Carmina Novoa has been collecting individual interpretations of monsters. The range of responses she has received is on display and the installation provides a space for interactivity, where you can create your own rendering of a monster to add to her collection.

John Pearson's Mailbird addresses the concepts of distance and social connection. Traveling the world, an owl figurine will be photographed in a new location each time he is sent through the postal system. Photographs of Mailbird in his temporary location are archived on a weblog, before continuing on to his next destination.

Marcel Reyes presents a primarily web-based creative writing project which is conceptualized around participants providing an interpretation of visual material and semiotics. Evocative photographs are paired with mysterious text, provoking viewers to creatively respond to something difficult to understand literally.

Stefanie Vermillion presents a series of collaged postcards that investigate the space and atmosphere of the library from her perspective as a student librarian.

Samara Watkiss poses the question "What do you read when you can't read this?" with a continuation of her ongoing Arabic T-Shirt Project. The project, which includes printed t-shirts, postcards, and a website, explores the political and linguistic ramifications of non-Arabic speakers reacting to seeing written Arabic.

Melissa Yasko is interested in how people will respond to the hundreds of postcards she has distributed around Boston, with the simple instructions to "draw on me." Gallery visitors are invited to participate in this investigation and responses will be archived on a weblog and within a Flickr group.

No comments: