For this is weeks art activity Art Care Package, I brought together a few things to send out to my best friend Bianca who lives out in Oregon. I included a handmade card which I made with white construction paper, strawberry flavored hemp wrappers (because she lives and Oregon and smokes recreational medical marijuana, ha ha), and some colorful tube cleaners. I wrote her a little note inside since I will not be telling her to expect this package only because I want it to be a surprise. I am also including the hemp wrappers themselves (ones I did not end up using), a mini sewing kit, a journal, and gold eyeliner. The sewing kit was an idea I thought she would like since she recently told me she wanted to learn how to sew and eventually buy her own sewing machine. I thought I’d help her get that idea started. I added golden eyeliner because she loves makeup, as do I; and in personal opinion, we both believe the ability to do make up is an art in itself and not recognized enough as exactly that. Also, she tells me every time to “stay golden”–just making sure she can too. The journal would be the part of me that I am including being that I recently took up writing down my thoughts and feelings lately. Bianca suffers from mild depression and anxiety, and I always encourage her to get her feelings down on paper because it has really, really helped me out during my emotional ups and downs. So I hope she takes it as an opportunity to express herself honestly and conveniently.
I think sending someone an ACP is similar to snapchat in the sense that it can be personalized and not always has to be seen by everyone but instead by specific people or a specific person as well. It is coming directly from me which I think makes it special and unique. Each snapchat is “in the moment” and unique every time one is taken. A letter inside the ACP could represent the feature of Snapchat that lets you caption your pictures and video clips. An ACP is something unique as far as the idea of customizing it for someone specific–no one is the same exactly so each ACP should be unique and different in its own way.
Sending and ACP is also much different than Snapchat wherein we are not using technology or the internet to send each package like we would a snap. We do not have a time limit as to how long we can keep an ACP like we do with a snapchat. We can use and enjoy our ACP’s off of our smartphones. ACP contains things tangible to the touch making it easier to appreciate and observe.
I think ephemera is something precious. Being as it is something not meant to last but instead something that is given a time limit as to how often it can be used or enjoyed for a short period of time. I think it allows appreciation and curiosity for all ephemera things in this world. The knowledge of where it came from and what are its origins beg the questions of how it is still in existence, where it came from, who it came from, what exactly was it used for, why was is so important, etc. It leaves much to the imagination.
I do not believe there is much difference between art displayed for public view versus an ACP sent off to a friend or stranger. Either way art is being exposed and appreciated. It is being interpreted. It is (hopefully) creating something meaningful to its receiver/audience.
The time and effort it takes to put together and send out an ACP definitely increases the value and heartfelt meaning. It instantly becomes so much more personalized–it creates a connection between the sender and the receiver. Fast, however, is much more ideal nowadays when everything is available via a tap on our phone screens. The concept of speed makes things a lot more convenient if we desire the need to share something in front of us right away to others we believe want to see exactly what we are seeing as well right at that moment. The concept of slowness when referring to the steps of having to send out an ACP and waiting several days for this package are not desirable but it creates excitement and anticipation which I believe, in turn, calls for appreciation.
I do not necessarily believe that something must take time in order to mean it was made with love. Speed does not necessarily lessen or increase value. I believe what is put into this “thing” matters the most. For example, if my best friend asked me to make her a baked potato, I’d load that thing up. It could take me only 10 minutes to make but I was committed to loading it up–green onions, cheese, sour cream, bacon, etc. I put in a lot more than can be expected as opposed to handing her a plate of a poorly cut whole potato and some sour cream on top. Not much was put into that potato so I’d count that as something not made with love. It is all about what you put in not how much time it took you to get it done.