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Burn Unit
Level 6: 1776 points
Alltime Score: 12752 points
Last Logged In: August 7th, 2017
BADGE: Senator BADGE: INTERREGNUM BADGE: Journey To The End Of The Night Organizer TEAM: The Disorganised Guerilla War On Boredom and Normality TEAM: MNZero TEAM: Sockpuppets TEAM: Society for the Superior Completion of Tasks TEAM: Group Creation Public Badge TEAM: Team Shplank TEAM: The Imprisoners TEAM: Anti-Triclavianists TEAM: The Icepacks TEAM: SCIENCE! TEAM: SFØ Podcast TEAM: 0UT TEAM: Synaesthetics TEAM: LØVE TEAM: Public Library Zero TEAM: INFØ TEAM: The Cold War Reenactment Society TEAM: The Union of Non-Civilized Obedience and Invention BART Psychogeographical Association Rank 2: Trafficker EquivalenZ Rank 1: User The University of Aesthematics Rank 1: Expert Biome Rank 2: Ecologist Chrononautic Exxon Rank 1: Clockwatcher Society For Nihilistic Intent And Disruptive Efforts Rank 2: Trickster


20 + 279 points

The Beautiful Letter by Burn Unit

April 2nd, 2009 1:00 PM

INSTRUCTIONS: Create a love letter (either real or ficticious). Figure out a way to distribute it such that either:

(A) it is viewed by a great number of people, or
(B) it is viewed by a very small number of people but as a result it completely blows their minds.

As an example of (A) consider the following:

Spiral Love Letter: Helen has vanished, and one of her admirers writes her a love letter. To impress her, he divides the letter into eighteen parts, and prints each part on a separate US Priority Mail sticker. The letter contains prose, poetry, a brief play, e-theory, and several hyperlinks (printed in blue) to significant project websites. He places the stickers on street corners in downtown Chicago, starting at Washington and Dearborn and ending at Monroe and Wabash. There are four of the same stickers per intersection, one on each corner. Each sticker lists the intersection before and after, such that readers can follow the chain of stickers to read the letter in its entirety. The path they must follow forms a spiral that progresses past the Art Institute to the Palmer House Hotel. There, the letter indicates that the reader should "go up" and contains instructions for ascending to the roof of the hotel. On the roof they find a piece of paper with more plot information in a ziploc bag.

As an example of (B), consider if the love letter were inserted into a random file in an office in which you do not work.

Dan loves Louise. He loves her so much he moved into my head for more than two years to tell me about it. The day he moved in was a sunny day, but his sulfrous sofa and stain-torn seats were no match for sun. He was apart from Louise by many hundreds of miles. He experimented with words and drugs and games and women to distract him. He missed her terribly but felt the two of them shearing off, her work and his experience of strangeness and newness of place becoming greater and more powerful than the urgency of his longing and the animating energy that filled so many of his thoughts (and mine) with rich fearless language.

All of that is subtext to what follows.

(a note to certain PM recipients...oops I meant this by Ben)

+ larger

The book
scratching like a crazy man
Inside cover
The letter begins
my quaker and my light
Heat Lightning
spider plant
Dan Loves Louise
I still get a kick out of this
losing a little momentum
square peg round hole
love birds
softer world?
but there's a mountain there
Prankster Dan
childish drawings
slow reveal
reveal 2
reveal 3
reveal 4
reveal 5
dan really feels this
this is real
this is not real
boredom setting in?
trying the experiment
hot child in the city
locked pages
pop up book
triplets of belleville
triplets part deux
trip to SF
the death card is change
the mountain
The cat
cat II
a momentary beauty
hold my hand!
skipped ahead
hottentot venus
the dangling plug
the extension of my self
running out of ink
one of the last additions to the letter
in profile
back cover
see it?
some of the tools
doing it for real
Until April 2
waiting room weighting room
exam room
literature file
Five Wishes?

56 vote(s)

Favorite of:


shplank, whywait, poems, fictional, epic, doodles, multiday, love, drawing, multiyear, lovely, favoredgreatly

26 comment(s)

Only five points?
posted by Lincøln on April 2nd, 2009 1:11 PM

Holy crapballs man. This is the most epic task I have seen in... in... I don't know. My mind is reeling. I hope the task I've been working on for years comes close to this level of awesome.

(no subject) +3
posted by GYØ Ben on April 2nd, 2009 1:20 PM

H-- wh--... eh--.

Okay, you have officially won SFØ.

(no subject) +2
posted by Jellybean of Thark on April 2nd, 2009 2:59 PM


i really wish i could give you more points.
posted by artmouse on April 2nd, 2009 2:53 PM

this resonates greatly with me - as i'm sure it does with many others - but this in particular has a great many parallels with not only my personal sketchbooks but certainly the emotional roller coaster i experience every time i find myself in love... a true masterwork.

(no subject) +1
posted by Peter Garnett on April 2nd, 2009 4:27 PM

"Invent something to love.

Give it your love as deeply as you are capable.

Then let go without being afraid of loss.

Enjoy both."

(no subject)
posted by Peter Garnett on April 2nd, 2009 4:46 PM


The Five Wishes document helps you express how you want to be treated if you are seriously ill and unable to speak for yourself. It is unique among all other living will and health agent forms because it looks to all of a person's needs: medical, personal, emotional and spiritual. Five Wishes also encourages discussing your wishes with your family and physician.

Five Wishes lets your family and doctors know:

1. Which person you want to make health care decisions for you when you can't make them.

2. The kind of medical treatment you want or don't want.

3. How comfortable you want to be.

4. How you want people to treat you.

5. What you want your loved ones to know.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on April 3rd, 2009 6:27 AM

Kapow. Fortune smiles on me.

It's a good day.

Once again and as per task instructions...
posted by Bex. on April 2nd, 2009 5:12 PM have completely fucking blown my mind, Unit.

Bafflement and Awe. Maybe even a little worried. ~Waldo +1
posted by Waldo Cheerio on April 3rd, 2009 2:01 AM

This is such a large amount of mind-blowing personal artifice that I am not sure, and cannot shake my doubts, about any possible interpretation of this. Maybe I am missing some other subtext, but I can't tell if this was a prolonged exploration of the meanings of love and separation through two fictional characters, a projection of perceived reality, or a legitimate exposition of your own feelings laid bare.

It put a bee in my bonnet, and I had to go out and look through a lot of art to resolve some of tensions your praxis created for me. SF0 lets me engage some big questions about what we are doing here, and what are the ultimate ends worth pursuing, and this struck chords with me, not altogether sweet, that I feel young men are poorly equipped to hear. I found that watching these five short films, in this order, put things in some perspective for me.

Prologue: The Evolution of Life
Act I: Signs
Act II: Whats in the Box
Act III: Forever's Not That Long
Epilogue: World Builder

I don't know why these notes you wrote over the years got me so troublingly caught on questions of love, death, loss, and relationships, but I think this is the mind-blowing of which you speak, and I thank you for it.

EDIT: P.S. The song you refer to is good too:

(no subject) +1
posted by Burn Unit on April 4th, 2009 10:17 AM

Oh dear. Well, it was intended to stir up the hives, that is for sure. I did enjoy the films you linked to very much. (Well, I'm a little upset by the Box one, as that was very unnerving and also looked a little like an advertisement).

As for what it is, I appreciate each interpretation you've brought to it. It was not written as a roman a clef, by any means, but of course, one's own feelings come into one's work. In a lengthy conversation like this one, where the blurring is happening, it's difficult to sort out sometimes.

Now that you have been spurred to look through a lot of art, and you're seeking to resolve things, perhaps you can resolve some of them through praxis. Give us some praxis love, it will return the message to the next person. . .

(no subject)
posted by Loki on April 3rd, 2009 2:30 AM


(no subject)
posted by Minch on April 3rd, 2009 5:09 AM

your mind is amazing.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on April 3rd, 2009 5:32 AM

Thanks every one! Wow such an amazing people here.

CHECK IT OUT, I found a bunch of the pictures I had failed to upload! I was so angst ridden that I'd lost them after I no longer had the letter that I spent quite some time digging thru archives. I think it's almost completely documented now. They were buried on an external HD. Yayy!

I've appended them to the bottom for ease of finding. In maybe a week I'll be moving them into their right position in the Letter.

(no subject)
posted by Dax Tran-Caffee on April 3rd, 2009 11:03 AM


(no subject)
posted by Adam on April 3rd, 2009 11:46 AM

Good grief.

(no subject)
posted by KristinawithaK on April 3rd, 2009 12:48 PM

I honestly don't know what to say.

I'll come back later once I've figured it out...

posted by Sara Johnsen on April 3rd, 2009 5:40 PM

also, you are the first person i have ever met who has heard of dan loves patti.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on April 4th, 2009 10:13 AM

Oh I just love Yum Yum. I guess only a few thousand of us do. There seems to be some controversy over whether he was being "sincere" or not and frankly I don't care. Chris Holmes (not to be confused with the guy from Jackyl) is still recording (he's got a myspace page) and it sounds like the same voice, some of the same impulses.

(no subject)
posted by Raizekiel Malbrandt on April 4th, 2009 11:30 PM

...5 points isn't enough to give.

Makes me feel like I should go take all of my other votes away so that what I give this task would seem like something special.

Holy hell man.
I don't even know what to say.

posted by rongo rongo on April 7th, 2009 11:06 AM

This is astonishing because you've made Dan so real. Yet, it's not clear if Louise is a person outside of Dan's mind, or if she is in his head the same way they were in your heard. Bravo!

posted by bunny dragon on April 9th, 2009 5:16 AM

What an amazing work. I'm just sorta sitting here, quietly, just enjoying the simplicity ("it's just a love letter") and complexity (I suppose I don't really need to explain this) of it all.

Bravo, bravo indeed. :)

(no subject)
posted by Charlie Fish on April 23rd, 2009 10:15 AM

You are an admirable incredible poet.

(And I appreciate the occasional PM cajoling to get back in the game...)

(no subject)
posted by Kyle Westwood on May 19th, 2009 1:28 PM

Wow. Brilliant. I'm awestruck, that is one hell of a completion.

(no subject)
posted by Burn Unit on May 19th, 2009 3:06 PM

Thanks! what a nice thing to say (you and All the commenters here!)

It's among my best work. I hope it will one day break fifty. I figure something i do should. Eventually.

(no subject)
posted by Developer Pixie on September 9th, 2010 8:08 PM

AS many have said before and i will say again, this is beautiful. This has also inspired me. Thank you!

This task predicted the future.
posted by Burn Unit on July 5th, 2017 5:57 PM

I found Louise, you guys.

And I lost her.