Saturday, July 24, 2010

The Evolution of the Postcard: Part 2

Rule #1: The postcard from the previous cake float must be sent from the next location. This posed a problem when I did two cake floats in a week without returning to Muncie to make the next round - it was remedied by sending two sets of cards from two very different locations near the next cake float.

Rule #2: The image on front of the card will not be posted on the blog until the very end of the project. For the most part these are final images though I have made one change already based on orientation - this rule deals with the element of surprise and the unveiling of the end product.

Rule #3: The postcard back must be different on each card, commenting on either the process or the act of sending something in the mail.

Rule #4: I must send one to myself, scanning and documenting both the front and the back to see its altered condition.

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The making of Postcard #7 (Ode to Ed Ruscha and the "35th Parking Lot"):

Ed Ruscha, Gilmore Drive-In Theatre, 6201 W. 3rd Street From Thirty-four Parking Lots in Los Angeles, 1967

All 34 parking lots were photographed on a Sunday morning hence the absence of cars. Art Alanis took the pictures though Ed Ruscha informed him which sites to photograph from the helicopter above. The book itself (which thanks to Ian Glennie at Texas Gallery I have managed to catalog and gaze extensively upon), contains 31 photos that show 34 parking lots in their entirety (not counting partial lots).

This is the example I am using in homage rather than the obvious "Nine Swimming Pools" which is overly apparent in the title of the series and the body of water on the front of each card. Hannah and I brainstormed the possibilities of sending a random note to everyone since I haven't focused on the most functional use of the postcard yet. I woke up the next morning thinking of who I can send it to, inventing names in my head (male? female? what would I talk about?). I ran through the list of people I knew, landing on my friend Ed Cooper which lead to Ed Ruscha. What would I write Ed Ruscha? What about the experience at the Sooke Potholes would lend itself to any of his works?

Parking was a big issue at the provincial park and so begins the hunt for visuals for the postcard back.

Surely that 237 count document I just typed will fit (handwritten) on half a postcard. It's a good thing I inherited by Grandfather's ability to write entire letters on post-its.

I was thinking about all the time I spent researching Ruscha's artist's books earlier this year and how I could incorporate what I learned from that. I decided to work with xylene markers and make a transfer from the Sooke Potholes map I gleaned from the internet.

Simplicity ultimately won over having part of the map included (too much text = too busy with more visual information). Ruscha was interested in low-tech reproduction and the quality of the transfer with ink running off the borders emphasizes that.

I also chose the font most closely associated with Ruscha's books for the heading. I had to rewrite the text three times but finally got it right with Photoshop fixing one spelling error (I wrote "in" instead of "it). Just to make this more time consuming and to ensure that I will never want to do a mail art project again, I think I will try typing each address rather than handwriting them.

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