This week I had so much fun creating an art care package for a classmate. I really love sending and receiving mail but, given the technology-based status of our society, rarely get to do so. Upon deciding what to put in my art care package, I almost immediately knew that I wanted to include fun items. As I put together the package, I realized that I was subconsciously including items that reminded me of my childhood, such as silly string, stickers (including scratch-n-sniff!), MASH games, and a coloring book page. Thus, one could say that the theme of my package is nostalgia. However, I aimed to make it a package of happy nostalgia, rather than sad. I hope the items in my art care package makes the recipient as happy as they have made me, and gives her similar feelings. I also included a cultural item, a magazine, in my package that reflects societal trends of our time. The childhood items I included evidently reflect me, and the drawing of giraffe I included from my notes reflects the recipient, who I found out loves giraffes.
Sending someone an ACP is surprisingly similar to sending someone a virtually-communicated snapchat. Both an ACP and a snapchat are forms of communication, and could be ephemeral in nature. However, they are also very different in that ACPs could potentially last forever, are tangible, and likely have more meaning to the sender and the recipient in that they are personally put together and require a good deal of effort. Snapchats, on the other hand, are virtual and made to last only for a few seconds, unless the recipient takes a screenshot.
I feel that ephemera is extremely precious. Although many people may call me a pack-rat for keeping mementos from so many of my life experiences, I think of myself as somewhat of a historian of my own life. Memories are so precious to me, no matter how small or seemingly trivial. I also definitely feel that ephemera gains value over time, as it allows us to gain access to old memories that we might otherwise forget. Ephemera from my relatives is very precious to me, as it serves as tangible proof of their experiences, as well as visuals for their stories. I hope my grandkids cherish my ephemera as pieces from my life that I want to share with them.
I don’t think there is much of a difference between art that is seen by many and art that is seen by few. I feel that, as long as there is great meaning behind art, it is valuable, and its value is not measured by how many people see it or appreciate it. I feel that art is anything that holds meaning for somebody. Whether somebody means millions of people, or just the artist, is irrelevant.
I feel that the effort that goes into creating an art care package, as opposed to something virtual like a snapchat, greatly affects its value. The fact that sending a package requires one to put in a great deal of effort to collect items that the recipient will enjoy, as well as to assemble and send out the package, conveys how much the sender cares about the recipient. I do not think the time it takes for a message to reach someone has meaning, as long as effort is put into creating the message.
I definitely feel that mail conveys a deeper sense of caring and love between senders and recipients. The time and effort that it takes to assemble and send out mail serve as indicators that the recipient is very much worth the sender’s time and effort. Typically, I will be much more excited and touched to receive mail than to receive virtual messages. Ultimately, I think mail will always be the most effective way to communicate messages of love or caring with someone.