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Lincøln
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20 + 205 points

Naked Mail by Lincøln

June 7th, 2010 2:36 AM

INSTRUCTIONS: Send some.

I can finally claim success at Naked Mail.

Sometime last year I got an email asking if I wanted to participate in a Naked Mail swap, and I joined in with gusto. I couldn't wait! My secret sendee was Charlie Fish. I was pleased, because I got to send something to a different country. Plus I like Charlie.

What to send?

I decided to send a disposable camera naked to England. And I would put instructions on it telling every person who touched it to take a picture with it, the intent being that the item could document its own travels.

That was the intent.

So I got me a disposable camera and made a custom skin with instructions on it.
The beginingTemplate
Finished product
The text

What I found were Post Office employees who time after time told me they couldn't accept the camera. I went to six different Post Offices across L.A. and found not one cool employee that was willing to take the camera.

I had spent a lot of time going to different Post Offices in a schedule for me that was pretty hectic.

I tried the automated system to weigh and ship it, but there was no option for mailing to England, the automated system was only for domestic mail.
The automated postage machine

And then my life got crazy busy. All during the time I was trying to make it work, I was also preparing for both Burning Man and Journey To The End Of The Night '09.

JourneyLeaving for Burning ManAnd then Journey happened. Followed the next day by our trip to Burning Man.


And after my week in Black Rock City I went straight to work hanging Christmas Lights.
At Burning ManHoliday Lights
In Texas at SXSW
And as soon as Christmas Light season was over, I went to Texas.










The point being I gave up on the big Naked Mail task. And my camera addressed to Charlie Fish sat on my table for a long time.

And then I got a call from Tac to mail something to an address he gave me. And since I now mail everything I can Naked, I went to the Post Office to see what postage would be on the rope. And while I was there I decided to pick up the camera again and try again. I went to a new Post Office near my mom's house and I learned something interesting from the employee there. She said the reason she couldn't send the camera is that it is against regulations, and because it's going overseas, her employee number would be attached to the thing, so if it got messed with, they could find out that she authorized it. And she could get fired. She very coyly hinted that if it got dropped in a mailbox, well, then there would be nothing they could do about it. And she gave me a customs form that didn't have to be approved by an employee and told me how much an item of the same relative weight as my camera would cost to ship to England.

So I took her hint, and attached the customs form and four dollar stamps, and dropped it in a mailbox.
Good information!
2

That was on April 28, 2010.






























Then on June 4, 2010, I received a package from England.
June 4, 2010

I knew what it was!
Oh yeah!

I was right!

And look! All of the film was used!
And lookie here

I got the chance to have them developed on June 6th.
Oh boy!








Not only did a few mail handlers take photos with the camera:


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But Charlie Fish sent me a poem using portraits of people in London.

Some of the people I recognize, some I don't.





But here is Charlie Fish's rendition of Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening":



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+ larger

Madness!
The begining
Template
Finished product
The automated postage machine
Conditions
Journey
Leaving for Burning Man
At Burning Man
Holiday Lights
In Texas at SXSW
Good information!
Invention
The text
Mailed!
June 4, 2010
Oh yeah!
And lookie here
Shed its skin
Oh boy!
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Another bit of Naked Mail
Monkey's Fist Naked Mail
PDØ Pixie

44 vote(s)


Favorite of:


Terms

poetry, employee, strangers, photography, rules

12 comment(s)

woooooooooooo
posted by Samantha on June 7th, 2010 3:15 AM

Truly magnificent

(no subject)
posted by done on June 7th, 2010 3:30 AM

Brilliant! I love it! I like best the pics of the post workers - they seemed to like to be involved! And the poem is lovely as well!

(no subject)
posted by Professor Møbius on June 7th, 2010 3:53 AM

Amazing.

(no subject)
posted by Sombrero Guy on June 7th, 2010 4:31 AM

This is great! Another reason to love Royal Mail! They are unfairly mocked here for slow deliveries and bad service, but I've never had any problems, and I've sent many weird things in my time...

Also, I'd forgotten about that rope. Anyone know what that was all about?

(no subject)
posted by rongo rongo on June 7th, 2010 2:48 PM

Wonderful idea about the camera, and it makes me happy that you were able to complete it after all that time. I guess the time was ripe for your naked mail.

(no subject)
posted by Silent Zig on June 7th, 2010 10:39 PM

O...M...WOW..

Great!

This is amazing and wonderful.
posted by Spidere on June 8th, 2010 12:05 AM

But shouldn't Charlie Fish be added as a collaborator?

(no subject)
posted by Lincøln on June 8th, 2010 12:17 AM

I would LOVE to add Charlie, but he's still associated with the Naked Mail Swap.

Only just seen this
posted by Charlie Fish on June 8th, 2010 4:18 AM

Hey cool! I totally didn't realise this was a delayed part of the Naked Mail Swap - that was so long ago... I just thought Lincoln had sent me a camera with no explanation. Which seemed fun, so I played along :)

I'm so glad you got at least a couple of behind-the-scenes postie shots. Yes, Royal Mail employees are generally supportive of well-natured mischief.

Incidentally, I don't know all the people in the poem photos either. Some of them are just friendly passers-by.

yes
posted by artmouse on June 9th, 2010 12:39 PM

Camera Mail is indeed a wonderful thing!

this is exactly the sort of mail i'm aiming to send and receive these days. spontaneous and outrageously unexpected and all around awesome.

currently cooking up some good ones ... whose secrets i shall not reveal!!

(no subject)
posted by miss understanding on June 20th, 2010 8:23 AM

Fantastic!!!!!

(no subject)
posted by Myrna Minx on July 15th, 2010 10:14 PM

Damn. It's been awhile since I added any new favorites.