Mail Art Exhibition at SFMOMA

At the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), a recent exhibition featured the work of over 20 international artists to illustrate how images have been created and sent out to the world from the 1880s to the present day.

Here are a few snaps I took that I’d like to share from the “snap+share: transmitting photographs from mail art to social networks” exhibition:

In 2009, David Horvitz took a picture of his head in a freezer, posted it online, and encouraged others to do the same using the hashtag #241543903. You could say it was the start of memes or of content going viral.

recreating David Horvitz’s ‘241543903’

Most of us take pictures with our phones, right? That means our images are literally trapped on our devices or in the cloud! So seeing the physical representation of digital photographs is just mind blowing!

Erik Kessels – “24HRS in Photos” (2011)

I wondered:

1) do the people whose photos on Flickr were printed out have any idea they became a part of this art piece?

2) do the photographs touch the floor or are they on a stand of some sort to give the impression of height and depth?

3) if these pictures are from one day and from one image hosting service, then what would this exhibit look like if we printed photos uploaded to all the social media sites?

In 1997, Philippe Kahn was credited with taking the first digital cellphone photo and sending it through a link. It was the birth picture of his daughter, Sophie. The wall caption says, in part, that the computer and camera shown above are the “original material he used to create and send the photograph.”

I’m thinking 1997 wasn’t even that long ago! At the same time, I wonder, How did I live without a cellphone camera? How did I live without the ability to instantaneously share pictures across the world? Blogging, for one thing, would have taken much longer!

I can’t resist a lovely carte postale

Believing that “Postboxes are darkrooms, too,” Peter Miller sent SFMOMA a series of undeveloped photo paper in special photosensitive envelopes. It culminated in a work the artist calls, “Dear Photography”:

Peter Miller – “Dear Photography” (2019)

As a collector of picture postcards and a creator of mail art, I was thrilled to see this exhibition!

The fine print on the exhibition’s introduction label reads, “Photography encouraged”

Snap and share. Done!

When you receive these images, tell me what you think in the comments below! 😉

Wednesday Postcard: Alcatraz Island

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features Alcatraz Island, which is located in the San Francisco Bay!

– Alcatraz is the Spanish word for pelican

– This small island was once a fort and a military prison

– From 1934 to 1963, “The Rock” was a maximum security federal penitentiary

For more information:

Alcatraz Island – National Park Service

Alcatraz at a Glance – Parks Conservancy website

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

Wednesday Postcard: Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale features the Sacré-Cœur Basilica in Paris. A big Thank You to Carolyn of Hawkfeather Stories who found this vintage postcard in a little thrift shop and sent it to me.

This postcard is almost 100 years old and it’s in excellent condition

When construction began in the late 19th century, this basilica broke tradition. While other basilicas being built at the time were dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Notre-Dame) in the cities of Lyon, Lourdes, and Marseille, this basilica in Paris was dedicated to the Sacred Heart (Sacré-Cœur).

For more information:

Sacré-Cœur Basilica

If you enjoyed this postcard, you may be interested in my post, Montmartre & Sacré-Cœur

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

Wednesday Postcard: Marseille, France

Bonjour! I got this week’s carte postale from an online shop.

Located in the South of France, Marseille is the second largest city in France after Paris. One of the things it’s known for is bouillabaisse, a Provençal seafood stew.

The postcard depicts La Canebière (or La Cannebière), the main street that runs about 1 km/ 0.62 miles from the Old Port of Marseille to the old quarter.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Tourism Office of Marseille  

Wednesday Postcard: Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, France

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale is one I picked up during my visit to Paris:

Notre-Dame de Paris is a medieval Catholic cathedral that was built in the French Gothic style during the years 1163 – 1345.

With over 13 million visitors each year, Notre-Dame is the most visited monument in Paris.

Notre-Dame suffered major damage to its roof and lost its spire when it was engulfed in a fire that broke out in the early evening hours of April 15, 2019.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris

If you enjoyed this postcard, you may be interested in reading my post about my visit to Notre-Dame Cathedral.

Wednesday Postcard: Saint Martin

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale was sent to me by one of my friends during her visit to the Caribbean island of Saint Martin:

St. Martin is an island nation divided between France and The Netherlands. The French side is on the north while the Dutch side, Sint Maarten, is on the southern half.

On September 6, 2017, St. Martin suffered one of the worst natural disasters of its history with the passage of Hurricane Irma. The St. Martin Tourist Office President states, “St. Martin is working hard on the sustainable reconstruction of the island.”

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

Wednesday Postcard: Carcassonne, France

Bonjour! I got this week’s carte postale from an online shop.

The Gate of Aude, tower of Justice and Count’s Castle

Carcassonne is located in the south of France about 80 km/ 50 miles east of Toulouse in the Occitanie region. It’s known for its medieval fortress, which was added to the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites in 1997.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Tourism Office of Carcassonne

Wednesday Postcard: Rennes, France

Bonjour! I got this week’s carte postale from an online shop.

Year is unknown, but this postcard was sent to its recipient on this day (March 27)

Rennes is the capital of the Brittany (Bretagne) region in northwest France.

For more information:

France Today – Explore the City of Rennes

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

If you enjoyed this postcard, you may be interested in reading my post, Meeting the Author: Mark Greenside. He is an American writer who has written books about his experiences living in the Brittany region of France.

Wednesday Postcard: Sidi Bou Said, Tunisia

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale was sent to me by my cousin who visited Tunisia in North Africa:

Known for its blue and white buildings, the city of Sidi Bou Said is located on a hill about 20 km/12.4 miles northeast of Tunis, the capital of Tunisia.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Sidi Bou Said Travel Guide by Tourism Tunisia

Wednesday Postcard: Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale was sent to me by a relative who visited this medieval town near Nice on the French Riviera:

I received this postcard in 2010. In 2011, the name of the city was changed to Saint-Paul-de-Vence.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Provence WebSaint-Paul-de-Vence

Wednesday Postcard: Expo 67 in Montréal, Québec, Canada

Bonjour! I got this week’s carte postale from a local used-book shop.

Expo 67: Trinidad & Tobago and Granada pavilion

Someone sent “Doty” this postcard from the World Fair, or International and Universal Exposition, that was held in Montréal, Québec, Canada from April 27 to October 29, 1967.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Expo 67 – the World Fair of Montréal

Wednesday Postcard: Ajaccio, Corsica

Bonjour! This week’s carte postale was sent to me by a relative who visited the city of Ajaccio on the western part of Corsica (la Corse), the French island in the Mediterranean Sea:

Emperor of France and military leader, Napoléon Bonaparte, was born here on August 15, 1769.

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

Wednesday Postcard: Lille, Maine, USA

Bonjour! I got this week’s carte postale from a local used-book shop. I had heard of cities in France and Belgium named Lille, but I didn’t know there was one in the state of Maine in the United States!

There are fewer than 500 people who reside in this town by the St. John River, which I’m presuming is the image depicted here. Across the river is New Brunswick, Canada!

Until the next Wednesday Postcard, à bientôt!

For more information:

Wish You Were Here: A Postcard Every Wednesday

Bonjour! I’m celebrating my blog’s first anniversary this week! 🎉

I can’t believe it’s been one year since I hit the publish button on my first post titled delightfully by default, The Journey Begins in 2018.

To continue the journey theme, I’m excited to announce a new series: Wednesday Postcard! I hope these postcards will make you want to revisit a favorite vacation spot or to embark on a journey to the destination of your dreams!

Each week, I’ll share a picture postcard from my personal collection of France and other Francophone regions, plus a few surprises.

Over the years, I have accumulated about two hundred postcards from around the world, which I’ve either purchased from my local antique shops or received from thoughtful jet-setting family and friends who know I collect them. When I travel, I also like to send myself a carte postale just for fun!