Project Description

MP.V.01, complete assembled drawing composed from 36 A5 panels, graphite on paper, 124 x 388 cm, 2014.

Mechanical Postcard

Project Overview

Mechanical Postcard is a distributed drawing project. For the first edition of the project, MP.V.01, the public was invited to visit the temporary distribution site to pick up a free drawing kit. The kit includes a Koh-i-Noor 1500 4B pencil, drawing paper, and simple illustrated instructions they can follow at home.

Once the drawing is complete it can be dropped into a mailbox for delivery to the studio. When all 36 postcard panels have been received the final collective image will be assembled and photographed. All participants will be contacted with information about how to view the final image that they helped create.

The idea for this project was inspired in part by the story of “The Turk”, a chess-playing automaton of the 18th century, made by Wolfgang von Kempelen. It toured Europe, beating the likes of Napoleon Bonaparte and Benjamin Franklin. It was later revealed that this “machine” was not an automaton at all, but was, in fact, a chess master hidden in a special compartment controlling its operations. Likewise, the Mechanical Postcard allows humans to help the machines of today perform a task for which they are not suited.

Footnotes

Drawing Kit Instructions; Download the PDF
Instructional video for the Mechanical Postcard project, Running Time: 1:34, 2014.
View of the backside of the Mechanical Postcard (German Language Version; Mechanische Postkarte), black ink on watercolor paper, 2014.
Rubber stamps and packaging material for the first edition of the Mechanical Postcard, MP.V.01.
Rubber stamps and packaging material for the first edition of the Mechanical Postcard.