greeting card event

My project, "greeting card event", was just a joy to plan, create, and stage. I set out to explore the relationship that people have with greeting cards and their own image. As I stated in my proposal, when people consume greeting cards, the anonymous subjects tend to take on a universal quality which allows people to connect to them. When I made my friends the subjects of the greeting cards, I had hoped to illicit a response that would be similar to greeting cards, but also change the way in which they consumed the cards. What actually happened had a very different energy which I personally associate more with Christmas. The act of gathering for gift giving (sometimes with cards) is a constructed event with certain unspoken rules or conventions that were very much present during the greeting card event.

My process: 

I made the greeting cards on Zazzle, an easy-to-use platform that I think most people use to make personalized wedding invitations or other stuff of that sort. 

I made six cards for several friends using photos that were already public on their Facebook page, then chose a color that I felt best matched the photo I selected, and then tried to think of something clever or entertaining to set up a joke on the front, then resolve on the inside, with a personal and abstract compliment. 

Then I staged the event that I consider to be the real art piece for this project. 

I made several decisions about the documentation of this video: first of all, I wanted to use a phone because I wanted this whole event to feel pretty informal. Second, I had several different ideas about the way to document the staging of the event: I could have everyone open theirs at different times and have the group appreciate them individually, or just record each person opening theirs individually not with the group, but ultimately I think this was the best option.

Relating it back to Bourriaud, this is what I would consider relational art, because the whole event is predicated on interactions between subjects; between me and my friends, my friends and their cards/their own images, their interaction with each other, and then your reaction to this video and the associations you have with it. "Depending on the degree of participation required of the onlooker by the artist, along with the nature of the works and the models of sociability proposed and represented, an exhibition will give rise to a specific 'arena of exchange'" (17). The arena of exchange that I staged could not have happened without my friends, ceases to have meaning if no one else follows the same social conventions of greeting cards/events of exchange, and will continue to illicit interesting responses in the different environments that it will be shown. 

What does the video make you feel? Does it also make you think of Christmas, or birthday parties, or do you find it boring? Is there anything that stands out to you, surprising or something you would have done differently? Now seeing this, would you want to make cards for your friends or relatives? 


  1. Something about this project that strikes me, in particular, is how personalization plays a big role in what makes the art objects, the cards, more meaningful than they often are in "real" celebrations -- they are becoming the focus, rather than a tangential item related to a larger event. This is the part of relational work that generates (for me, at least) the most consideration of how one lives, because it prioritizes our own experience of things that we may overlook, in general.

  2. Love how real you are with the class and the web. We get to see how personality and being personal played a role in the project and the objects with in

  3. I really enjoyed hearing about your project today - I loved how your project evoked these lived custom experiences, put into a social context. I also thought it was pretty interesting because alot of participatory/performance pieces kind of just happen without telling anything to the audience/participants, so I enjoyed this different perspective!


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