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Bushwick Goes Old School Snail Mailing in Orgy Park's Recent Show

Orgy Park brings it back to an analog era where salutations were handwritten rather than emailed

At Orgy Park (all photos by courtesy of Orgy Park)

Orgy Park brings it back to an analog era where salutations were handwritten rather than emailed.

December’s Letters began as an invitation to “air dirty socks.” Founder and curator, Steve Mykietyn asked friends, acquaintances and colleagues worldwide to mail letters to the gallery, which were then put on view for visitors to read. Some handwritten and others typed, Mykietyn wanted to “celebrate our vices, depression and other dirty laundry” on the darkest day of the year (December 21, otherwise known as the Winter Solstice).

This collective pathos corresponds to Orgy Park’s mission as “an intimate celebration of community, meeting people and exchanging fluid ideas.” The affectionate ease, and underlying sexual tones, of the exhibition and space recall 1970s ethos of free love, intimate communication, and dematerialized art. The exhibit nods to great conceptual artists like On Kawara, who in his “I Went and I Met” series mailed postcards to his friends detailing aspects of his life (1970s).

On Kawara, "I Met," 2004

While On Kawara was transcribing mundane facts, he was doing so appropriately using the only means of communication at the time other than phone calls or telegrams. Today, cards and letters are saved for special occasions, like Holidays and Birthdays, and are discarded almost as quickly as they are read.

Such antiquated correspondence initiates a nostalgic return to pre-digital days of Walkmans and Collect Calling. How did one even express love and remorse before texting? It is unlikely one will ever use a payphone to call an ex outside of their apartment like Rob Gordon in “High Fidelity.” Lets face it, writing letters is a thing of the past, and people only ironically use pay phones in the subways.

In exchange for the index of the hand is the swiftness of the keys, and analog forms of heartfelt communication have long been upgraded to the digital age of 4G, snap-chatting, sexting, and status updates.

What better place to revel in the past and read handwritten salutations than Bushwick. When asked why Mykietyn decided to make this Brooklyn neighborhood home, he enlisted the psychedelic lyrics of George Clinton and the Parliament Funkadelic to explain: “Starchild here, doin’ it in 3-D. So good, it's good to me. Starchild here, citizens of the universe Gettin' it on, partying on the Mothership” (“Mothership Connection—Starchild”).

As “citizens of the universe”, stay tuned for Orgy Park’s next show in March 2014.

December’s Letters at Orgy Park in Bushwick opened on December 21 and will be on view through January 6, 2014.

 

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