Cultivate a Spot consists of documented actions carried out in East Vancouver at the corner of Parker Street and Commercial Drive. After depositing food at an out-of-use telephone booth, I observed reactions of people walking by to the unexpected encounter. My intention was two-fold; to positively disrupt a passersby daily routine and to utilize the postal system to re-activate personal connections. This idea was borne out of my own personal feelings of disconnection from various public environments and communities: work, school, and neighbouhood, to name a few.
I observed passersby at a distance and noted people’s reactions and, also mine. I created a record of the experience in the form of postcards which I mailed over a period of three weeks to friends, family, and colleagues. Through the postcards, I wanted to extend the experience of the events to others and to instigate some dialogue about community connection. I was delighted to receive two postcards in response, each asking questions about my actions. Other recipients acknowledged receipt of the postcards via text, email, or in person. Recipients reported feeling invested in the process, and looked forward to the next postcard. Using the postal system offers an alternative method for sharing artistic ideas and of addressing the viewer. As a result, several conversations were had about the function of the postal system today, how to engage with one’s community, and the design and use of public spaces.
Although I only created a series of four postcards, I continued with the project further performing five more donations. The whole project resulted in a self-published publication titled A study in community interactions (available for purchase soon).
With Cultivate a Spot I experimented with observation as field research and with production of printed matter as both object and documentation. The project was inspired by the methods of French artist Sophie Calle.
Medium: Postcards 5 x 8 inches, digital colour laser prints, not for sale; seen here are the front side of the four postcards in the series and one of the postcard backs (apple postcard).