Friday, April 06, 2007

Before I Was A Painter

There wasn't one painting or drawing in my application to school.
In 1996, a year before art school and few minutes after half-reading "Discipline and Punish", I adopted the name Panopticon and began sending mail art to anyone who would give me their address. I was really into Throbbing Gristle and mail art worked so well with all the industrial noise music I was making. It started as cards with photocopied images on the front and a two or three word message inside, and culminated with me sending out nearly 40 of the baggy/razor blade/tag combinations shown above.
People really didn't think about privacy the same way as they might now, and no one remembers giving out their address. So I had a few people worried, and one even drove past my house(I'd listed a return address in hopes of anyone reciprocating, no one ever did).

Later, a second project came up where I put a bit of water in with the blades so they would rust during delivery. One night on mushrooms at a movie theatre I remember pulling out a pack of rusted razor blades from my pocket in plain view of some folks I didn't know so well.

Thanks so much to Joel Jackson and Heather Kvill for sending these photos. I had to blur the address because my mom still lives there.

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