Thoughtful Work: Mysterious Letters from Lenka & Michael

Mysterious LettersI am utterly engrossed by the Mysterious Letters project, by artists Lenka Clayton and Michael Crowe. In 2009, they wrote 467 letters to every person living in the Irish town town of Cushendall and 620 letters to every inhabitant of Polish Hill in Pennsylvania. They haven’t stopped there, and their plan is to ultimately write to everyone in the world (or as many towns as possible?).

The result is a beautiful archive of clever notes written by hand on different scraps of paper that hint at the start of a curious conversation. The recipients of each of these letters has unwittingly become a part of a work of art, that in the end lies in the discussions these neighbors have surely had once they’ve discovered that they’re not the only ones to whom Lenka & Michael have written. Be sure to check out the video of the BBC broadcast about the project, complete with interviews with very confused people.

These singular artifacts are all compiled into a one-sided conversation at Mysterious Letters. I can only hope that there are more in the pipeline, and that one day I’ll get one too.