Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Message in a Bottle...

....is no longer just a crap U2 ditty or a Kevin Costner movie about him being all mysterious and leathery yet ruggedly handsome. My megabrain has a penpal/mail art project in the works, tentatively to be called "Message in a Bottle" or something to that effect. Several factors are feeding into this and they are as follows in random order:

Number One: I LOVE SENDING MAIL. I can't emphasize it enough, people. I love it. I have sent out a bazillion pieces of personal mail in my 27 years on this planet, and I ain't stopping now.

2. Almost as much as I adore sending mail, I'm thrilled to receive it.

3. For the first time ever, I have a P.O. box at my disposal. I'm not sure what the implications of this are yet, aside from the obvious that I am now able to give my address out randomly to creepazoids in dark alleyways and not have to worry that a mob of boogie men are going to show up at my doorstep demanding to use my pool. I am so done with being "the kid with the pool." Nor do I need any more male stalkers. Female, yes. Male, no.

4. While the Virgin Islands use the same postal service and rates as everyone else in the U.S., things come here differently i.e. on a big boat. As I've done elsewhere in the past, I'm eager to test the postal service here. By this I mean, what I am able to send out and receive, how long it will take, will stuff get lost more easily, will I open up boxes to find stowaways inside, etc.

5. For some time now, I have been planning on one day initiating a postal collaboration with friends and strangers and have many, many ideas for concepts. Now, you must understand I'm not one of those "genius artists" who throws a bunch of poop together on a whim and calls it a finished "piece." In fact, I make it a rule to use the word "piece" only when referring to pizza, drug paraphenalia, or what I'm rewarded with when I answer a question correctly during a game of Trivial Pursuit.
Ahem, as I was sayingas an artist, I'm a heavy planner, and I've never been able to whittle a mail project idea down to something I thought was presentable to others.  But have no fear, dear readers! I'm throwing that all out the window as of today. I'm going to explain my initial idea for "Message in a Bottle" and then I'd like to hear from you so we can form the project together.

Here goes. I first became interested in the idea of a message in bottles because of my new seaside locale. While researching historic uses for messages in bottles, I discovered some fun factoids.  For instance! Did you know that the first recorded use of a message in a bottle was by Greek philosopher Theophrastus around 310 BC to prove that the Mediterranean Sea was formed by the currents of the inflowing Atlantic Ocean? Yep, it's true because wikipedia says so. Also, in a Caribbean related story, during a storm at sea, Columbus supposedly scribbled a message in a bottle to ensure Queen Isabella would get the memo on his New World findings (it was lost at sea, though, sadly, he was not).
For the most part, it seems people use messages in bottles when they are in distress, in a physical or emotional sense. For example, finding oneself marooned on a desert island and having no other way to call for help. Or being totally depressed about one's lot in life, no friends to talk to and no money for a therapist, and having no other way to call for help.
Now, what does this mean as far as a mail art collaboration? Sending physical bottles through the mail? Through the ocean? What should they contain? If so, what will they contain? Also, St. Thomas does not recycle. I have been hoarding recyclable items to potentially use in an art project. perhaps, this could be that project. Or maybe it should be left to the idea of people in distress. Maybe we should test the currents like Theophartacus or whatever his made-up wikiname was. You tell me. I'm open to anything at all.

While looking up other peoples' mail projects, I came across this neat envelope maker today. It creates a printable envelope of your google satellite location plus a custom message. If you are interested in becoming my penpal, working with me on a mail art project, or not using me for my swimming pool, send me something in the mail in one of these envelopes. We live in a world of penpal phonies. Lotsa letterwriting talk, little letterwriting action. If you're serious, gimme proof. Afterall, this could be you:

Or better yet, this could be us....


  1. I thought it was a crap Police ditty?

  2. whateverwhocareswhyarewesplittinghairs they both equally suck.

  3. Is it just me, or did you not include your P.O Box #?

  4. Oh good, someone is paying attention.
    P.O. Box 477 St. Thomas, VI 00804-0477