Surviving artifacts from various hitch-hiking journeys around USA/ Canada, circa 1989-1994. Annotations as recollected. Note: many more of these signs existed but are lost to the world as ephemeral creations.
Once upon a time… humans moved away from bartering things and services on an ad hoc basis and came up with a default transaction medium which became known as money. First coins (well, maybe something before, likely made of clay) denominated by an arbitrary, yet commonly agreed-upon, value – often made of metals which were deemed to be rare/shiny/valuable.
Then after (perhaps admitting the arcane value of metals and needing something handier to tote around) eventually created paper bank notes – first with value attached to aforementioned shiny metals, then again arbitrarily assigned a transactional value by central banks and governments.
To me, this is neither here nor there, i really don’t have an opinion about the “importance” of money. Indeed, if you value such “wealth” so much, go forth and acquire in exchange for your time, talents or conniving – or simply create your own currency, print it and rally folks to desire it as a means of exchange. This is commonly done in form of community notes, “virtual” currencies (often managed by Blockchain tech), or even various commercial operations making notes, coupons or points systems.
My point in sharing this is: Very often, these banknotes – both contemporary or deprecated – are lovely specimens of design art and printing technology (granted the reason is usually to thwart counterfeit versions polluting the general population’s trust in the monetary system). I very much enjoy the loveliness of printing “things on substrates” – the values to me are non-important (aside when i need to purchase eggs and bacon) but rather the artistic-ness and the totems decided by a society to represent their culture/country (often historical figures of various repute, significant events, important buildings or cultural motifs) are a source of endless curiosity. Additionally, the stories the bills imbue, often soaked quite literally into the fibres, as well as the journey the note took to your hand or pocket and/or the travel one undertook to acquire… are what sparks my interest.
As such, i gather these notes, photograph for the historical record and my own amusement and, evidently, to share with you.
This is Volume One of several in an on-going series, this round featuring notes from SouthEast Asia, Indian Subcontinent, Arabia locales and possibly others.
Of course, letters and postcards aren’t the only way to send a delightful dispatch to a distant friend… as another Canadian said “the medium is the message” as such, message depends on the medium. As such, choose the medium for your message to evoke emotion and put the story, no matter how brief, in a pleasing context.
Of course, the most critical part of postcards and letters are: a proper address to send it to, and a friend to write.
Also, I like to think about all the hands which touch the card as it makes the journey from my writing desk to a happy (I expect) recipient who peeks in their post box / letter slot and see something other than a utility bill or an bulk/junk mail from a real estate agent.
I also wonder how the “hand off“ in international mail works from one country to the next. Do the workers peek at the – almost illegible – scribble on my postcards? Do they wonder who wrote the missives and who the recipient is? . Do you think about these logistics & vagaries? Or is it just me? .
Presented without annotations. Just a guy, at sea, with beverage – jauntily leaning at times, even posing cheekily or cheerily. Content at the moment. (snapped with Fuji Insta-camera)
Visual observations on Remembrance Day in Fort Kochi / Cochin, Kerala, including: St. Francis Church (India’s first European church built in the 15th century by Catholic Portuguese and later re-consecrated by Protestant Dutch); a Cenoptah commemorating Armistice of “Great War” in 1918; and, an historic Dutch cemetery. Inside church is where remains of Portuguese explorer Vasco de Gamma were interred for several years before being repatriated by his son. Also captured are a nearby former armoury and parade ground, as well as Mahatma Gandhi Beach with myriad fishing boats and Chinese fishing nets. All of which i found to be contemplative metaphors for Remembrance Day.
Note: Snapped Lomo cork-covered, “sardine can” camera with expired b&w film (posted with very minor corrections).
I’m a sucker for fun photos with costumes. As such, while presenting at Social Media Camp in Victoria in 2016, I availed myself of the promotional photo booth and dug into the provided tickle trunk, plus added a few items I had on hand, to create this series of photos to craft characters and story.
Presented individually, then as they appeared in strips for the record (in case you want to print and trade with your friends).