The Gifts

2014 - in progress / game and series of sculptures / collaboration with Emily Staugaitis

Artist Emily Staugaitis and I gave one another twelve numbered parcels. Each parcel contained a single "gift"; an object found by the other that appeared unresolved in some way. We unwrapped each gift in turn and according to the object's own logic, endeavored to resolve it.

Gift #1

2" x 3.5" Manilla envelope containing three identical keys on a key chain with plastic "Genesee Cream Ale" tag. Aside from wear to the envelope gift #1 appears unused.

I took the keys to Newlyn, a small fishing village in Cornwall, England. In a workshop right on the harbor wall I saw a large wooden board of hanging keys, each one labelled with the names of the offices, boats, or vehicles of the fishermen. I nailed a new nail into the board and hung the keys there. The workshop is used by many fishermen and harbor workers. The likelihood of them all noticing the new key then checking with all the other people who use the shed if it is theirs seems remote. I imagine it hanging there unused forever.

Gift #2

3.75" x 2.5" & 3.5" x 2.25" Two antique cards "Ancient Order of the Deep" and "Sacred Order of the Golden Dragon"

Gift #3

5.5" x 3.5" Picture postcard previously written and sent in 1906 to Miss Marjorie Bailey of Massachusetts. The handwritten inscription on the front of the card reads "this is the best I can do at present".

I attached a contemporary postage stamp over the original one and my name and address, then re-posted it. Several weeks later it was returned labelled "insufficient address". I will continue to add stamps and re-post the postcard until it doesn't come back.