For my last mail piece, I tried something that I wasn’t sure would get sent through at all! After checking the mail regulations, I couldn’t quite tell if something like this would go through the mail without an envelope:
It’s a ball of model magic, which was soft at the time and very easily deformed. So for anybody to be able to read the address as it goes through the mail, it will have to be kept in about the same shape as it was originally sent.
When I took this to the post office, the man at the counter didn’t think it would get sent. I insisted that it didn’t break any regulations, so he asked for a second opinion from someone nearby, who said “Sure, why not? It’s not liquid, fragile, or perishable. But he needs a return address.” So I wrote my return address on the ball and it was accepted!
What if the container is strong, but the inside is weak?
Taking inspiration from pressing fall leaves, I decided to “press” a flower through the mail machinery.
I’ve held this piece in reserve for a while. I put charcoal in an envelope, and as it goes through the mail it will get crushed and make marks on the inside of the envelope.
The email system is much less physical than the mail system, but it still has its quirks. One of them is how each email provider handles spam and security.
I tried to send an infinitely-recursive zip file to my partner through Gmail, but it rejected my request.
So instead I sent it through my personal account, which does no such filtering.
Due to Google’s spam filtering, I’m half expecting this email to end up in the spam folder.
I have this unusual fascination with disposable cameras. It’s such an unreliable medium, with terrible optics, no focus, grainy film and bad lighting. But I love it for the spontaneity. I can hand a disposable camera to anybody, and they’ll know what to do with it.
With that in mind, I decided to see what would happen if I sent a fresh disposable camera through the mail. Only once the pictures are developed will I know if it was successful.
To fit the theme this week, I ended up reading through many, many pages of the postal regulations. They go into such detail about the kinds of live animals they can and can’t ship, and specifically ban fruits and vegetables. So the inspiration for this one was trying to find food that I could send.
Bees are acceptable in the continental surface mail when shipped under federal and state regulations to ensure that they are free of disease. Packages of honeybees must bear special handling postage, except those sent at a First-Class Mail price. Only queen honeybees may be shipped via air transportation. Each queen honeybee shipped via air transportation may be accompanied by up to eight attendant honeybees.
Using the technique I discovered earlier, I made a letter to send to my partner.
As it goes through the postal system, this piece will be pressed in unknown ways, which will create an interesting final piece.
I received my partner Austin’s letter late, and opened it up. This is what I found:
So I followed the directions:
I wanted to send an unusual object in the mail. I carved the address into a letter-shaped piece of balsa wood, put a couple stamps on, and dropped it in a mailbox.
It never arrived.