Postal Collage Project
How to Start and What to Expect.


STAGE ONE

Every project participant starts a collage. If all goes according to plan, the collage you start in September will return to you by February, changed by the contributions of your fellow collaborators. You’ll have the month of March to finish what you started.

As collages-in-progress change along the way, they can become unrecognizable to the initiator, so please remember to include your name and date with your ‘starter.’ Such total transformations are uncommon, but always possible due the autonomy enjoyed by each and every contributor. 

AUTONOMY

As the author of the Project Description, my intention has been to leave all creative decisions to you —as individuals and/or as cooperative groups according to whatever arrangements you choose to make. The Project Description grants total autonomy to every collaborator at every stage. This is radical freedom, and it’s risky as well as liberating. 

Any contributor is free to subtract from, as well as add to, the collage at hand. One thought on risk management: Until you are completing your own original collage, add only what you are willing to lose. I don’t mean to discourage ‘raising the stakes’ by introducing things of value into collages, I’d rather encourage it. I only want to be clear about the risk of loss.

Any collaborator is free to establish a theme, or set out guidelines for the development of their original collage, but fellow collaborators are not required to abide. One thought on disregarding an originator’s wishes: Remember, in the end, it will be the originator of each collage that will determine its final state.

SIZE, WEIGHT and MATERIALS

Decisions about size, weight and materials are, like other creative choices, up to you. The Project Description asks you consider the influence of size and weight on postal costs, and to think of your fellow collaborators and their costs. Also, to remember that the aforementioned autonomy allows contributors to make a big thing smaller, a heavy thing, lighter. When completing your own original collage, these considerations are no longer relevant. 

THE SCHEDULE

Your contributions are the life force of the project. Successful deliveries are the pulse. Everyone is relying on everyone else to keep the work alive. Please do what you can to stay on schedule. Be in touch with your ‘Get From’ and ‘Send To’ people about deliveries and delays. Even the simplest communication about the status of a package can be helpful. 

DOCUMENTATION

I am interested to see, hear and read any project documentation you’d like to share. Imagery of works-in-progress, work-spaces, tools, post offices and mailboxes, all add life and depth to the project. Collaborator experiences, favorable and otherwise, are, for me, of primary importance and interest. Please consider sharing yours, along the way, or at the end.

SOCIAL MEDIA

There is no social-media policy. While I understand many collaborators want to see works-in-progress for the first time when they open a package, i.e., not on social-media, others may want to share immediately. Communicate with your group if you have concerns, and consider your platform’s options for hiding posts.

Suggested social-media tagging:
@berkeleycommonplace
@roundtablecollaboration
#berkeleycommonplace
#roundtablecollaboration
#postalcollageproject
#postalcollageprojectno12
#collaboration
#collage
#mailart

DECORATED ENVELOPES

Some collaborators add collagical bits to their envelopes. These are charming , enjoyable additions, and I’m confident they’re well received by the project’s ‘hidden’ participants, the postal processors, carriers and clerks. 

I hope this is helpful. Please be in touch with any comments, questions and concerns. marty@roundtablecollaboration.com