Articles

Mail Art Bulletin: Tic Tac Toe Sculpture

by Hrag Vartanian on April 27, 2011

William Evertson created one of the most surprising packages we’ve received for the Mail Art Bulletin. His padded envelope covered with grids and stamps of all kinds, including one that read “Will Work for Food” and another of our Hyperallergic “H” logo, arrived in a bulging package that we couldn’t wait to open.

Inside was an array of postcards — mostly from past exhibitions, I believe — cryptic writings, including one that is titled “No Books for the Dead” and ends, “I finally knew when I was dead because I watched it on TV.” Another longer piece of writing is a short story about a man cross-stitching text messages from the dead, even people who died before text messaging was commonplace.

Among the paper items were a series of small pages with hashtag drawings that I soon realized were tic tac toe boards. There were four black velvet pouches among the pages, two containing small carved plastic stamps in the shape of right hands and two containing ink pads, one ruby, the other cerulean. I immediately asked Kyle to join me in a small game, which ended in a stalemate.

This mail art work appears to be an adaptation of Evertson’s The Choice in You interactive performance series, which has since developed into his Ox and O series of artist boxes. He has a beautiful explanation on his website that explains how he views the grids as decision fields and that each game you play is a meditation on “the nature of each symbol and choice.”

The cryptic nature of his work appears to be part of his practice, and the artist statement on the homepage of his site suggests as much:

Most simply, I am an artist. I make marks. With ink, dabs of paint, words and flickering electrons.
Similar to remembering details in dreams, I grasp for small fragments of meaning. *

*Thirty years ago my artist statement would run five hundred words as I tried to describe my work.
Currently I’m considering removing the last two sentences.       William Evertson

Fragments of meaning is something I can completely relate to. Working and living in 2011 seems to be endless variations of that idea. Below is what we found in his mail art package.

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in our Mail Art Bulletin, please send your mail art to:

Hyperallergic HQ
181 N 11th Street, Suite 302
Brooklyn, NY 11211

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  • http://bespangled.tumblr.com Janelle

    Looks like you guys weren’t playing to win! The “I finally knew when I was dead because I watched it on TV” quotation reminds me of Warhol, saying that only after he was shot he knew he was just watching it all on TV instead of living life.

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