Introduction to my
(reproductions from Olympus D-300L digital camera, Jan-Feb 1997)
|"One always writes an image to someone." (Folon)|
|We build in our dreams a monument to the unknown|
postman to thank them all for having
allowed these images to reach their destiny.
|Folon, Lettres a Giorgio, Alice Editions,|
Barron's, 1979 [fn.26]
My attempt (1982-88) to employ computer graphics
for humanistically meaningful ends rather than merely
as a vehicle for pursuing technical virtuosity. As Walter Ong
asked: "What is the purpose of a person acquiring perfect French
pronunciation if they have nothing of value to say in any language?"
|How To Make An Envelope.
19,23 Mar 83. Envelope with instructions how to make an envelope.
I did in fact make most of my envelopes as
described on this envelope (which itself was made according
to the directions):
Often I would take the envelope to the Post
Office to have it hand cancelled, requesting that the Postal
Clerk place the postmark in a certain position (e.g., see how the postmark exactly covers the stamp,
and is bisected by the vertical line
in the New Mexico envelope, below).
- Start with an 8-1/2 by 11 inch sheet of paper (standard
- Draw lines on sheet to indicate where folds should be made
(M1 thru M8, near the corners of the page).
- Make four folds, to create the four flaps
which will comprise the back side of the
envelope (note that documentary information about the envelope:
title, create date and location...
appears upside down on the sheet of paper being
processed, so that, when folded over, it will be right
side up on the back of the envelope.
- Cut off the four corners of the sheet (quadrilateral
areas including marks M1-M8).
- Glue bottom flap to side flaps, with Elmer's Glue-All.
- Insert letter in envelope.
- Glue top flap to bottom flap, to seal envelope.
- Mail it.
Some Post Office employees did not want to cooperate with me. Others
were thoroughly enchanted by the process, and went out of
their way to be helpful. I thank them (in one case, I
made an envelope design for and mailed it to the Postmaster
of the Crompond NY Post Office, to indicate my appreciation
of her continued assistance and interest).
|'Waking persons...'. 30 Oct 82. Envelope with dialog about the process of
sending it (thus thematizing the interactions between a
letter and the Post Office personnel/machinery, and
others, e.g., the recipient, who come in
contact with it). Full title is a quote from Heraclitus:
Waking persons share a world in common, but the dreamer
turns to a reality uniquely his own.
|Stampede. 14 Jul 84.
Recipient is a teacher of writing. The stamps are all part of a series:
"The Ability to Write", "Freedom to Speak Out", and "A Public That Reads",
each: "A Root of Democracy". All the stamps are moving
in the direction of the recipient's vocation.|
|Maxwell's Demon. 4 Jul 85. This envelope contains my submission
to a contest to design a cover for the Teachers College Department of
Communication, Computing and Techology brochure. (It won
the contest, but there may have been no other entrants....)
The theme of the contest was the title of the brochure: "Maxwell's Demon".
The "demon" in the
design operates a sliding door, selectively letting letters in
the left compartment, in entropic Brownian motion, move
over into the right compartment, thus ordering them into meaningful
communication, and perhaps defying the Second Law
|How To Make
||09 Jan 1997|
||09 Jan 1997|
||09 Jan 1997|
||09 Jan 1997|
||04 Feb 1997|
|More early digital photos|
|Untitled. 18 Aug 84.
This envelope, unlike
the others included above, does not have a strong
reflexive dimension. Rather it is primarily
"esthetic". I like the New Mexico sky: the light,
the mountains, the desert.... Buck Rhodes is a friend who lives in
Albuquerque, and it was in visiting him that
I first experienced the place. (Albuquerque is also
known for hot air ballooning....)|
See more envelopes (page 1 of 2).
"The process is the product" (me?)
"Everything we do is the same thing: we
learn more about who we are" --Tom Gee
Demon" was designed using MacPaint on an original Apple Macintosh PC, and
printed on an Apple Imagewriter I (borrowed from David N. Smith, IBM Research).
The other designs were produced on
the VM/370 mainframe computer system at the IBM T.J. Watson
Research Center, Yorktown Heights, NY, using the
YDS (Yorktown Drawing System) computer graphics application designed by Jerry
Goertzl. YDS was functionally similar to Seymour Papert's Logo
programming language; YDS's main use was to make diagrams to include in IBM
The images were developed using a Tektronix
vector graphics display, working in tandem with a 3270GA terminal
for YDS program text entry, and printed on either a Tektronix thermal
printer or APS5 photo compositor. That printout was then
copied onto regular 25% cotton bond paper,
on a Kodak photocopier, to produce the
final envelope "blank".
I would make multiple copies of each
design, in part for archiving,
but also because folding, cutting and pasting the envelopes (and even positioning the
postage stamps...) is "tricky", and it would often
take several tries to get one to come out right.
See also my article: The Envelope as an Art Form: Computer-Aided Images.
LEONARDO: Journal of the International Society for the Arts,
Sciences and Technology, 1984, 17(1), 20-23.
more envelopes (page 1 of 2).
See other web art on this web site.
Return to Brad McCormick's resume.
Return to Brad McCormick's digital photos page.
Go/Return to computer aphorisms.
Copyright © 1998-2002 Brad McCormick, Ed.D.
15 May 2006CE (2006-05-15 ISO 8601)
|With continuing thanks to|
all the U.S. and Japanese
Post Office employees
who made it possible.