Jul 20, 2009

Mysterious Letters Cause A Stir In Antrim

In April 2009, artists Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe sent a personal, handwritten letter to each of the 467 households in the small Irish village of Cushendall, Co. Antrim. The goal of their art project? Simply, that these unsolicited letters would prompt neighborly discussion and promote community curiosity.

I love the idea of this project––mostly because the handwritten letter is such a rarity these days––and can imagine the kicks Lenka and Michael got coming up with chit-chatter for each letter and anticipating the buzz generated by their receipt. I would have thought I was being Punk'd! Sadly, as a sign of the times, locals were scared by the light-hearted letters, though they did succeed in promoting community curiosity.

Love this one:
"Dear No. 6 Hello! Sorry to refer to you as a number. I know you're a real life person, not the world-famous, (infamous) number "6," which, in terms of numbers (infinite) is something of a celebrity: well-known, often photographed (mistakenly perhaps), spoken about by billions daily... But no, I'm writing to you despite the fact that we've never met, I just felt the urge to mail you something, however silly and little this is, I felt the urge to at least say "hello," and to let you know that, as vitally important as the number 6 is, I'd far rather know what your name is."

And this one (click on it to enlarge):

You can read more of their letters and see the BBC report at Mysterious Letters.
Ps. The artists plan to write a personal to note to everyone in the world in the future, so keep an eye out for the mailman!

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