Thursday, March 6, 2008

blogging fun

New post at animeintro.

Also found this fantastic artist yesterday. David Horvitz does all kinds of conceptual things that require some serious audience participation. For one thing, he's taking one photo of the sky every day for this entire year. He'll mail them to you for free. I signed up yesterday. Here is yesterday's sky (it's in NYC):

My favorite thing he does is offer for people to pay him a certain amount of money, which he'll then use to go to a specific place and mail you an item. Most of the options are big (expensive) trips to foreign countries (which I totally wish I'd thought of first!), but some are as small as giving him $5 for him to mail you one of his secrets.

I have two favorite cheap ones. One is giving him $10 to write a letter of apology to someone he knows. He'll send one copy of the letter to its recipient and one to you. He has an example of a letter on his website. This letter is really simple, but so touching for some reason. So far, 12 people have bought apologies. I think this is absolutely genius. It's incredibly voyeuristic, but also sort of vicariously relieving. Even if you're too scared to make your own random apology, you can be part of someone else's. I think I might purchase an apology letter in the coming days.

My other favorite is for people to pay him a dollar to think about them for one full minute. Twenty-one people have bought a minute of time, by far the largest number of people to participate in any of these projects. I think this is very telling. People are actually so full of themselves that they're willing to pay someone--a complete stranger no less--just to think about them. But on the other hand, a couple people paid David to think about someone else. Someone named Jim Darrough paid him to think about his step-mom who had passed away four days prior. Quote:

I thought about Jim Darrough's step-mother, Arleen, who passed away on February 24th, 2008 at 3:32 am Pacific Time. Jim was holding her hand at this time. I thought about Arleen from 1:18am to 1:19am on February 28, 2008 in New York.

Ok, that's actually really moving. As is this one:

I thought about Luca Kunz's mom who is in a hospital in Switzerland from 3:12am to 3:13am on February 29th, 2008 in New York. I went a little over a minute to make it stronger.

People love their families so much that it helps them to know that a stranger knows who the family member is, and is actively thinking about them.

I think that the entire body of work just speaks to the interconnectedness of everyone on Earth. And it's as easy as dropping an envelope into a mailbox. Maybe that's too obvious of an explanation, but I think it's rare that you see such a blatant physical manifestation of this. I look forward to reading more about David's exploits.

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