I used to love buying and sending postcards, but with the internet, email etc. somehow have stopped doing so. The last postcard I sent was to my grandmother, before she died last year.
Every summer I remind my son to send postcards from his summer travels to his grandparents in two countries and to us and he dutifully obliges. Everybody, grandparents on all sides, me and my husband are delighted. However, recently he told me, that even though he does send the postcards (usually after being gently reminded though a facebook message) he “does not get this postcard thing.” Why would anybody want to receive some random card with a superficial note, when one could send photos and phone, skype, facebook or chat instead?
I don’t know if I managed to explain it to him properly. In any case - for those who grew up without the internet, with telephone land lines, mix tapes and analog film - a card, which has been bought, written, stamped and mailed by somebody, and physically made its way across the globe is still something special.
A few days ago, I signed up with postcrossing.com – a platform in support of sending and receiving postcards from people all over the world. I posted my first cards, on to Belarus, one to Hong Kong and one to Germany and now I will wait and see who will write to me.
I am interested in vernacular creativity, the kind of things ordinary people get up to, the creative practices and processes and the way people connect and interact in creative ways. David Gauntlets “Making is Connecting” comes to mind.
I browsed the gallery of hundreds of postcards posted online, which people have mailed to each other through postcrossing. Yes, the postcards are sent through mail but can also be “collected” online. I particularly like the multiview tourist postcards, which use the letters of the name place as a frame for images. Perfect combination of word and image! So I have picked a few from postcrossing.com to share with you. I would be really chuffed if I got one of those! I’ll keep you, ahem, posted.
See also the academic paper on postcrossing by Ryan Kelly Understanding participation and opportunities for design from an online postcard sending community
And did you know, today is World Post Day!