The mail art piece, Welcome Future and the subsequent related works speak to this moment of emergency, our combined experiences of a global pandemic, long overdue racial justice reckoning, and our hotly divisive political era. So many of us are experiencing and absorbing all these events in isolation, distant from those who protect, console, and represent community to us. I was thinking about methods of making meaningful contact that were intimate yet safely distant and resolutely analog or non-digital. The mailing was a multi-part kit that included a formal standardized letter addressed to 2020 in which the writer created their own list of hardships specific to their experience of the year, a card with directions for the ritual, and matches labeled Welcome Future to light the cleansing fire in which to burn the letter as effigy and ultimately expel the pain, at least symbolically, of a year like no other.
It was a remote, mostly simultaneous (suggested burning on New Year’s Eve) communal ritual shared with friends, family, artists, writers, and several people outside my immediate community who poignantly experienced loss during the year. Also included in the mailing was an editioned relief print with the simple hopeful directive “WELCOME FUTURE”, so though our lockdown is not quite lifted, when the eventual post-pandemic future arrives we may be inspired to attend to it’s arrival with both relief and grateful welcoming.