BW, SPACE CHAMBER ZIGGY FLASH - (REAR) BW X MM, MYLAR FROM THE MOON Jasper Johns or Ant Farm, they might send you some art in return! And, this week, I just completed red book 500 (100 original pieces of artwork in each, starting in 1972) ... Now I can die in peace, knowing I reached that (at one time) unthinkable number. Beatie — Your lifework is committed to reuniting tangibility, storytelling and ceremony through exploration, innovation and activism in art and music. You’ve created numerous tangible forms of art from hand-held album viewmasters to a listenable record jacket. How is Postcards for Democracy an extension of this kind of work? BW: Because I'm constantly questioning what should be preserved, what could be updated, as well as what we might have lost along the way. The digital era created access, it presented solutions, but it also created the idea that we could fast-track a lot of what defined us as humans to begin with. Writing and receiving personal mail is one of those core endangered experiences that reconnects us with ourselves, and with one another, and helps to keep us alive inside. So as well as being a constant mailer myself, I feel like, at a time where humanity is more disconnected than ever, we have an opportunity to reassess what actually matters and reclaim some of what keeps us inspired, uplifted, connected as human beings. Because just like the mail, if we don't use it, we'll lose it! In a world ruled by digital communication, virtual worlds and instant gratification and response, why is supporting and preserving what some may dub “old school systems" like the USPS still a pressing issue? BW: Because we need things that imprint, that make us present. And mail (along with many other “old school systems”) does that. MM: Tangible communication, physical presence, is more important than ever in a world where we are one jackass joker away from the whole internet vanishing away from planet earth. At that point, the mailman will be the comrade who rescues us all from descending into chaos and oblivion. You both collaborated on several postcards for this project. How did you make these together? Describe your collaborative creative process. MM: Part of what makes the post office the post office is that they collaborate with you also, adding dates, and catchy phrases, and the occasional stain, so post art is always at least a little collaborative. And, leaving an image on Beatie’s graffiti-proof art pieces, was a challenge I wanted to take. BW: I sent cards to Mark and he sent some to me to build on. The cards I gave Mark were mainly made out of NASA-grade Mylar (leftover materials from my Space Chamber) which attempts to repel everything, including Sharpie ink, but he still found a way to leave his indelible Mark! What advice can you give those who want to participate but maybe say: “I can’t make art.” “I’m no good at art.” “I’m not an artist, not creative.” BW: I think we often impose limitations that don’t exist or need to exist. So my advice would be to just have a go. And we’ve had a lot of people share that this is the first time they’ve made a card. MM: You don’t have to call it art. That term does get bandied around a bit so leaving your mark can be called whatever you want. For a long time, I was a social scientist reporting the good news of de-evolution. You have a say, so say so!!! Participants are sending their postcards to 8760 Sunset Blvd in West Hollywood which will become part of a collective art piece — in both a physical gallery and virtual space — directed by you both. Can you give us a little sneak peek or teaser into what this will look like? MM: It will look like a heck of a lot of mostly handmade postcards! And other stuff people send instead. BW: In addition to a digital gallery and physical installation of some kind, we have a nice idea for creating a piece of art out of all the contributions that will combine man and the machine, beautiful music with synchronized visuals. What are other ways people can support our democracy and longstanding institutions that serve us — the people — during these times and beyond? BW: Start at home and believe that individual actions have the potential to make a world of difference. And take nothing for granted. MM: Stop and think about how fortunate you are to live in this flawed yet interesting time. Mark — You just survived a life-threatening battle with Covid-19. How has this impacted the way you now view and make art?

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