Thursday, April 17, 2008

So much to say.

21 x 29 cm
Found photographs - both black & white and color, (thanks to S.L. for dumpster-diving in CPH on my behalf!), archival tape


I have always been a communicator (after all, it is the main description of my star sign!). Even when I was a kid I would "hang on" (my father's words, not mine) the phone for hours. My parents always wondered what I was talking about. Now I can't remember... Although I am sure it was all very important at the time.

Communication is defined as a process by which we assign and convey meaning in an attempt to create shared understanding. The truth is, communication exists in so many various ways. As it is today - we are able to talk on the phone at any given time (and in Europe at least - almost in any given place), we can email, instant message both on the computer and on a cell phone, not to mention video conference calling (which I unabashedly love doing with my family - ok, admittedly with some friends too!) are all possible. There is undoubtedly a power connected to communication. I am fascinated by the various forms that are at our disposal...but that said, I think it is clear that a big question remains - whatever happened to the art of letter writing? Which of course is, in many ways, the most classic form of communication. Has it been lost forever? Undeniably it used to be all there was. Can you imagine - waiting for correspondence - for weeks, maybe even months sometimes?!

The best series of letters I ever had the chance to read (and I read them in their original form at the Marlene Dietrich archive here in Berlin for A.U.'s project) was the exchange between Joe Carstairs and her lover Marlene Dietrich. One letter has stayed in my mind: Carstairs was flying to her island in the Bahamas, Whale Cay, while she wrote a fabulous love letter to Dietrich in the air...quite the romantic letter...using the sky as a metaphor to describe her passion for Dietrich.

There is something to be said for hand-written text, the way an envelope looks, the postage that is chosen - these decisions don't have any weight any more - as that certain sensibility is definitely lost. Even a few days ago I was reading a text message from someone and wishing I could read it in their handwriting! Nevertheless we have of course gained so much in the meantime....haven't we?

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